By Oke Peter
AS part of its efforts to ensure optimal utilization of resources for the provision of electricity services, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Tuesday, ordered the electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to transit into cashless collection of electricity bills.
This is effective for industrial and commercial by 31st January 2020 and R3 residential customers by 31st March, 2020.
The directive is contained in a document, uploaded on the commission’s website on Tuesday and jointly signed by its Chairman, James Momoh and Commissioner, Legal, Licensing and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye.
It explained that the development is in line with the mandate of the Electric Power Sector Reforms Act (EPSRA) section 32(2)1a “to create, promote and preserve efficient industry and market structures and to ensure optimal utilization of resources for the provision of electricity services.
The commission stressed that the FG had issued a policy directive that requires the mandatory transition of certain classes of end-use customers of DisCos from direct cash settlement of bills to cashless platforms.
This, according to the commission is jeered towards reducing collection leakages/losses and improve overall revenue assurance in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
It added: “This policy directive complies with EPSRA and the laws of the FG as furthers the objective of improving transparency in NESI by introducing greater clarity on collections from end-use customers and prudence in the utilization of market funds.”
To this end, it directed all the DisCos to ensure transition to cashless collection for billing/collection of R3 class of residential customers by 31st, March 2020.
Also, it compelled them (DisCos) to take advantage of all available banking channels approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in complying with the directives.