Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Engineer Sanusi Garba has stressed the need for consumers to demand their rights in the power sector.
Speaking during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU), between his commission and the National Orientation Agency, (NOA), yesterday, in Abuja, Garba explained that NERC was mandated by the power sector law to protect consumers in the electricity industry.
The MoU between the two government agencies is aimed to sensitize consumers on their rights and obligations in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI.
Represented by the Commissioner, Legal, Mr. Dafe Akpeneye, the NERC Chairman stated that as a sector that is very technical, it is important that consumers understand how it is managed.
“Our sector requires a lot of sensitisation and we are meeting with NOA because we know that we cannot do the sensitisation on our own. We have a very large country with a population of over 200 million people in 774 local government areas.
“Our sector is one that is very specialised and most people do not know how the electrons get to them. All Nigerians are concerned about is that they have those electrons when they want it on demand.
“The essence of this partnership is to create a vehicle whereby we have a platform where Nigerians are educated on issues about the sector, issues of safety, electricity theft and others” he said.
In his remarks, the Director General of NOA, Dr. Garba Abari noted that there is a huge trust gap in the sector which needs to be urgently bridged.
He said the issue of electricity has dominated national discourse despite the efforts the government has put to address the electricity supply gap.
“There is a huge amount of ignorance in our populace on how things are done especially in technical areas like electricity supply.
“To make citizens aware and be part of the conversations, they need to be sensitised and mobilised”he explained.
Earlier, the NERC’s Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, Hajia Aisha Mahmud, said the MoU between the two agencies was long overdue.
Mahmud disclosed that the development would strengthen the relationship between NERC and NOA for the betterment of Nigerian electricity consumers.