Mrs Olayinka Abe, the Forum Secretary of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Ibadan says it has resolved a total of 435 out of the 580 complaints it received on electricity from January till date.
Abe, who made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Ibadan, said that this amounted to about 75 percent of the complaints.
She said that bulk of the complaints bordered on billing and metering, stressing that the issue of over-billing had been a major challenge.
“We are aware that it is lack of meter that oftentimes leads to over-billing.
“Year 2019 has been a good year and I must commend the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company for resolving so many complaints from the customers, unlike the previous year.
“In the past, NERC had to do so much to get responses from them and get them to resolve some of the issues brought before them.
“So I can say that over 75 percent had been resolved so far. Although some of these issues still recurred, the situation has, however, improved from what it used to be in the past.
“All categories of people lodged their complaints with us – residential, private and commercial firms, and we thank God that NERC has been up to the task,” she said.
Abe, however, noted that impatience on the part of most complainants had been a major issue, as virtually all of them would want their problems resolved almost immediately.
“We have noticed impatience on the part of the complainants; most often, they want their issues resolved immediately.
“I think when people call IBEDC lines to lodge their complaints and didn’t get through, they call our lines which are written on the bill.
“Our lines always go through and so, they vent their frustrations on us; but we are always patient with them and seek to help them.
“There are procedures in resolving complaints but some people wouldn’t want to go through the normal process; they are in a hurry to get things done.
“The urgency of the complaint brought will also determine how fast it will be resolved; but it takes at least two months to resolve a complaint.
“When such a complaint is resolved and the customer is not satisfied, we have an appeal session for such a customer to explore. Everyone is at liberty to appeal, either the disco or NERDC.
“If after the appeal, the customer is still not satisfied, he/she can then take it further to the regular court.
“What we have here in NERC is more or less an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) arrangement, where we mediate on issues so as to have soft landing between the parties involved,” she said.