• Opinion - Editorial
  • Updated: May 21, 2023

Do Discos Heed NERC's Mandate Never To Disconnect Premises From Life Support Machines?

Do Discos Heed NERC's Mandate Never To Disconnect Premises F

Life Support Machine

Recently, power distribution companies (DisCos) were ordered by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) not to disconnect electricity supply to any premises where a life-support machine is in use.

While this is one out of the numerous 'good' charges one gets to hear about, the big question around this is, to what extent do DisCos in Nigeria heed such directives? 

NERC gave the order in its latest Customer Protection Regulations 2023, with regulation number: NERC-R-001-2023, obtained in Abuja recently. 

The mandate, which was among many other directives to DisCos, as contained in the NERC order, reads in part, “A distribution company shall not disconnect electricity supply to any premises where, it is aware, that a life-support machine is in use.

“Customers that have life-support machines installed at the premises shall enter into an acceptable arrangement with the distribution company for the settlement of their bills and the distribution company may seek to recover any debt due from these customers by other legal means.”

The power sector regulator stated that customers that were disconnected in contravention of these regulations shall be compensated by the distribution company.

“Customers shall be compensated with energy credits, that are equivalent to their average daily consumption computed on the basis of their consumption or bills for the last three months, for each day the wrongful disconnection lasts.

“A distribution company shall reconnect electricity supply to a customer’s premises within the period stipulated in these regulations in the following circumstances:

“Where a customer disconnected for non-payment of electricity bill pays all the distribution company’s charges as approved by the commission or the customer enters into a mutually acceptable payment arrangement with the distribution company,” the regulator stated.

It also stated that the DisCo shall reconnect a power user where the customer disconnected for unauthorised access to the distribution network regularises the electricity supply arrangements to his premises to the satisfaction of the DisCo and pays all charges assessed by the DisCo for the unauthorised access.


Again, these kinds of charges are perfectly in order.

However, the contrast of such cases that is usually prevails more than the given mandates is that they are hardly heeded.

Because these mandates are usually treated by the supposed actors as mere paper work.

Over the years, several customer rights' abuses have been meted out by these DisCos on the consumers against relevant mandates with clear NERC registration numbers.

For example, it has never been heard that a Disco compensates a consumer for an illegal disconnection of their premises.

Instead, the consumers are forced to pay reconnection fee.

Can we then say that NERC is never aware of any of these flagrant abuses of their regulations by DisCos?

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Eben Duru
Eben Duru

 My name is Eben and I am from Lagos, Nigeria. I am currently a writer at AllNews Nigeria. I’m...

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