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Electricity consumers lodged 390,889 complaints in 9 months –NERC

Electricity distribution companies in the country received a total of 391,066 complaints from consumers in the first nine months of last year, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has said.

Customer complaints, which stood at 128,791 in the third quarter, rose to 153,227 in the second quarter from 108,871 in the first quarter, according to the regulator.dd

NERC, in its report for the third quarter of 2018 released on Tuesday, said the 11 Discos nationwide received 128,791 complaints and resolved 97,343 in the quarter.

It said, “Although this represents an improvement in the third quarter, Benin Disco still had the worst performance in resolving customers’ complaints. Whereas other Discos resolved up to 75 per cent of their customer complaints in the period under review, Benin Disco resolved only 47.3 per cent of the customers’ complaints received.

“Eko and Yola reached a commendable record of 98 per cent resolution during the period under review. The commission continued to investigate the reasons for poor customer complaints resolution by all Discos recording a resolution rate of less than 75 per cent.”

The regulator said a review of customer complaints statistics indicated that metering, estimated billing and service interruption still remained the most significant areas of concerns for customers.

It said metering and billing dominated the customer complaints, accounting for 68,749 (53 per cent) of the total complaints in the third quarter.

“In an effort to ensure improved customer service, the commission has continued to monitor and audit the complaint handling and resolution process by Discos. Besides, the commission, on a continuous basis, monitors the operation of its Forum Offices set up to adjudicate on consumers’ complaints not adequately resolved to the customers’ satisfaction by the responsible Discos,” NERC added.

According to the report, as of the end of the third quarter of 2018, the commission had 25 operational Forum Offices in 24 states and Abuja.

It said the Forum Offices received a total of 1,959 complaints in the third quarter from customers who were dissatisfied with Discos’ attempt at resolving their lodged complaints.

“These exclude 1,413 complaints carried forward from the second quarter of 2018. Of the complaints lodged at Forum Offices, 43 per cent were resolved with or without hearings, showing an increase from the 37 per cent recorded in the preceding quarter.

“Nonetheless, the commission has directed all its respective Forum Offices to resolve all outstanding complaints without further delay,” the regulator added.