The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has issued electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) with a deadline to bill customers.

On Wednesday, the regulator said that all DISCOs, which have failed to meter electricity customers in their networks, have been given until 28 February 2017 to execute the work, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.

According to the media, as from 1 March 2017, NERC will begin to penalise the defaulting DISCOs.

It is reported that the penalty will be an outcome to the initial directives by the Commission and the moratorium period given to DISCOs to meter consumers.

The electricity regulator said this was in line with its mandate of protecting the rights of customers, media reported.

NERC extends DISCOs deadline

In June, after consultation with the operators,  NERC directed the DISCOs to conclude metering of all customers before 30 Nov 2016.

According to the Commission at the expiration of that notice, it granted three months extension, which will expire 28 February this year.

The deadline extension was meant to enable the DISCOs to effectively execute the metering deployment plan for customers.

The Commission is now encouraging any electricity customers yet to be metered by 28 February, to report to the Commission through any of its forum offices in all the states of the federation.

NERC urged customers that had advanced money to the DISCOs through the now suspended Credited Advance Payment for Metering Initiatives, CAPMI, to make use of the complaint redress mechanism.

“The Commission is by this notice advising electricity customers not to take laws into their hands by attacking staff of electricity distribution companies” NERC said.

The regulator continued: “They may wish to be guided not to resort to legal proceedings as the first option in seeking redress, but to explore the commission’s redress mechanism to save litigation cost and time.”