From Umar Dankano, Yola
The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, (NERC) has been charged to track and prosecute all corruption related cases in the electricity sector to ensure recovery of stolen public funds in the country.
Critical stakeholders gave the charge as part of the resolutions reached at a one day training organized for Civil society Organizations, (CSOs) and Media practitioners in Yola, Adamawa state by the Association of Nigeria Electricity Distributors, (ANED) to ensure transparent and efficient service delivery.
Participants at the training resolved that, NERC must ensure that Distribution companies (DISCO) urgently undertake initiatives to re-number and re-classify all electricity consumers in Nigeria for the purpose of issuing new meters.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, ANED, Barrister Sunday Oduntan said the training was organized in Conjunction with MacArthur Foundation Project to solely discuss corrupt practices and advance solutions on how to reduce, if not eradicate them from both sides of the operators and the customers.
Barrister Oduntan stated that the Association (ANED) deliberately picked CSOs and the Media for the workshop due to their influence especially on awareness to the target audience in our societies.
Oduntan explained that, the negative impact of corruption in the electricity sector is affecting everything and everyone which informed the outing to create best ways to serve Nigerians without pushing them down due to self interest of the bad eggs.
“We do the training all year round across the country for 6 years now targeting CSOs and Media practitioners as influencers that talk to all manner of people through awareness in our societies.
“We make the people understand how corruption affects innocent people including the corrupt person himself.
“Corruption lowers the service provision, so we need to have a more transparent power sector and that’s what ANED is owning to,” Oduntan stated.
In his presentation, resource person at the workshop, Dr.Joseph Gimba advanced that the training would be building Consumer Awareness and strengthening the Customer service capacity of Electricity distribution Companies.
The training touched on topics including Corruption practices DISCOs perspective, Transparency in customer practice and Disco’s band implemention, Metering initiatives (Illegal purchase of meters) estimated bill capping, bill payment and cash handling policy and Policy Dialogue on Promoting Transparency and Accountability in the Electricity sector among others.