Six of the eight Distribution Companies (DisCos) whose licences were marked for cancellation by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) have escaped sanction after meeting its Minimum Remittance Order (MRO) for three months. However, Enugu and Port Harcourt DisCos are under its hammer for defaulting, though they provided the requested operational information like the six DisCos did.
In an updated notice dated December 12, 2019, NERC invited the public for a hearing next Thursday to hear from the managing directors of the “failed” Enugu and Port Harcourt DisCos while it will hold a private meeting with the six “escaping” DisCos.
NERC had provided a soft landing for them on November 20, 2019 through an email saying those who comply with MRO for three months will be deemed as “good faith.” They will not have their licenced cancelled but hold meetings to resolve the issues.
However, the latest NERC notice issued by NERC’s Commissioner, Legal, Licencing and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye shows that all eight DisCos submitted their responses within the required deadline. “Two out of the 8 DisCos (EEDC and PHEDC) did not meet the expected minimum remittance thresholds for any of the 3 months of July to September 2019,” the Commission said.
The managing directors of Enugu and Port Harcourt Discos were directed to make presentations and respond to questions before electricity consumers at a public hearing to hold in Abuja on December 19, 2019. For the six DisCos that complied with MRO for three months who escaped possible licence cancellation, they will hold a private meeting with NERC to resolve the poor remittance issues on Friday December 20, 2019. They are Abuja, Benin, Ikeja, Kano, Yola and Kaduna.
NERC gave the eight DisCos till December 7, 2019 since October 8, 2019 (60 days) to defend why their licences should not be cancelled for remitting below average on July 2019 energy payment to the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET). It shifted the timeline from Saturday to December 9 which was last Monday.