The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said that the Kaduna Electric Distribution Company (KAEDC) violated the commissions regulations on the installation of facilities by allowing customers under its franchise to contribute N2 million for the purchase of a transformer.
The commission stressed that the purchase of a transformer by the community members is in clear violation of its regulation which makes installation of facilities the DISCOs’ responsibility.
This is sequel to findings by an investigation team dispatched to the DISCO by the NERC for an on-the-spot assessment of complaints over the purchase of a transformer by customers under the franchise to facilitate the restoration of power to their area which had been in darkness for the past six months.
The intervention was sequel to protests by youths of two communities in the North and South of Kaduna, where customers in Badarawa community had contributed N2 million to purchase a transformer and were awaiting connection to the Kaduna DISCO network. Following the development, the minister of works, power and housing, Babatunde Fashola, ordered the NERC to conduct an investigation into the alleged exchange of money as reported in a protest letter by a member of the community to the minister.
Subsequently, an investigation team dispatched to Kaduna for an assessment and resolution of the matter by the acting chairman of the commission, Dr Anthony Akah, discovered that the community actually donated the transformer to the KAEDCO to facilitate the restoration of power to their area which had been in darkness for the past six months, a statement by the NERC’s head, Media Unit, Michael Faloseyi, said.
The statement added that “the purchase of transformer by the community members is, however, in clear violation of the commission’s regulation which makes installation of facilities the DISCOs’ responsibility. The community representatives were informed that all forms of donations into distribution network should be governed by the commission’s Investment In Network Regulation,” the statement noted.
Meanwhile, the NERC has said that the purchased transformer would be connected to provide electricity to the community and reflected in the KAEDCO’s Regulated Asset Base. This implies that the KAEDCO would not get a return on the asset in their tariff, the commission explained.
Similarly, Janruwa community, at a meeting organised by the commission in Kaduna, revealed that the youths of the locality protested what they regarded as an extensive darkness as they have been out of electricity supply for over a year after a 300KVA transformer initially installed for the locality was later moved away by the DISCO. However, in their defence the KAEDCO informed the NERC investigators that the Janruwa community was very large, requiring about 500 KVA transformers, which were not available, for a start.
The company said it had taken the 300 KVA transformer to the community, but had to take it away when it realised the density of the community, with the intention of replacing it with a 500KVA transformer.
Meanwhile, NERC has extracted commitment from KAEDCO to provide Janruwa with a 500KVA transformer before the end of June, 2016. This is in addition to returning of, and installation of a 300KVA transformer earlier removed which will give the community a total of 800KVA capacity.
The parties to the dispute were further requested to avail themselves of the Commission’s redress mechanism as contained in the Customer Complaints Handling, Standards and Procedures Regulation and direct disputes to Forum Offices established in State capitals and avoid taking the law into their hands.