On Saturday, September 9, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) launched the Power Outage Reporting System App in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The App which is available on Google Play Store and Apple Store, allows electricity consumers to report power supply disruptions to distribution companies (DisCos) as monitored by the Commission.
According to Sanusi Garba, the NERC Chairman, the new application would enable the commission to effectively tackle power distributors that fail to address electricity disruptions reported by consumers.
He also noted that the App is being test run on the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) first and other DisCos will follow shortly.
- “We recently launched a new regulation that provides timelines within which public utilities, especially DisCos, are required to resolve complaints from customers.
- “So, this particular app being unveiled today is to assist the commission in monitoring whether DisCos are complying with the standard set out in that regulation.
- “Originally, the application was designed for crowd-sourcing data for the purpose of service-based tariffs. By crowdsourcing, the application was to sample the quality of supply that customers are experiencing.
- “But the commission decided that it is better to put smart meters on all feeders so that we have 100 per cent live data or near real-time data to ensure that the DisCos are actually complying with the service obligations that are prescribed in the tariff orders.
- “We decided to start this launch in Abuja, and there will be a national roll-out for all distribution companies. But such a massive application would require test-running. So, the AEDC today is like the guinea pig for the app, but we will quickly expedite the roll-out for other distribution companies.”
In light of this, it’s crucial to emphasize that numerous customer complaints persist unresolved, despite customers’ diligent attempts to address them through their respective Distribution Companies (DisCos).
It’s worth recalling that as early as 2021, Nairametrics reported on the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) urging the adoption of a more comprehensive structural approach to address critical issues within Nigeria’s power sector.
During that period, Mr. Babatunde Irukera, the FCCPC Chief, recommended the implementation of an industry-wide strategy to tackle these structural challenges and enhance the effective resolution of customer complaints.
The PORS App launched by NERC can do the following for the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI):
The PORS App empowers customers to promptly report their power outage experiences in real time.
This not only expedites service responses for customers but also grants NERC comprehensive oversight of the complaint resolution process.