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NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ELECTRICITY CONSUMERS IN NIGERIA

TOPIC:TOPIC:

EXISTINGEXISTING STRUCTURESSTRUCTURES FORFOR THETHE PROTECTIONPROTECTION OFOF CONSUMERCONSUMER RIGHTSRIGHTS ININ THETHE NIGERIANNIGERIAN ELECTRICITYELECTRICITY MARKETMARKET

HOW EFFECTIVE ?

AA PAPERPAPER PRESENTEDPRESENTED BYBY ENGR.ENGR. O.C.AKAMNONU.O.C.AKAMNONU. CEO.CEO. ENUGUENUGU ELECTR.ELECTR. DIST.COMPANY.DIST.COMPANY.

OUTLINE 1. INTRODUCTION 2. HISTORICAL EVOLUTION OF CONSUMER RIGHT PROTECTION 3 . MAIN FEATURES OF

OUTLINE

1.

INTRODUCTION

2.

HISTORICAL EVOLUTION OF CONSUMER RIGHT PROTECTION

3 .

MAIN FEATURES OF THE ELECTRICITY INDUSTRY PRE - 2001

4.

TURNING POINT

4.1.

POST 2001 SCENARIO

5.0

CONSUMER RIGHT STRUCTURES IN ENUGU DISTRIBUTION COMPANY

6.0

GAP ANALYSIS

7.0

SUMMARY

8.0

CONCLUSION

INTRODUCTION In keeping with global trends and expectations under the Reform Program, structures for Consumer

INTRODUCTION

In keeping with global trends and expectations under the Reform Program, structures for Consumer Rights Protection need to be reviewed and reinforced for effectiveness where necessary.

Since the electricity market is undergoing development, Service Providers as part of their development strategies must recognize Customer Rights and put in place structures for protection of these Rights, constraints notwithstanding.

This subject is discussed with the Nigerian Market in view and Enugu Distribution Company as main focus

HISTORICAL EVOLUTION OF CONSUMER RIGHTS PROTECTION IN THE ELECTRICITY INDUSTRY The enactment of Decree 24

HISTORICAL EVOLUTION OF CONSUMER RIGHTS PROTECTION IN THE ELECTRICITY INDUSTRY

The enactment of Decree 24 of June 1972, resulted in the merger of the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN) and Niger Dams Authority (NDA) to form the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA).

The Industry was a big monopoly shielded from liability through an immunity clause contained in section 12(2) of the Decree. This section provides as follows:

“The Authority shall in no case be under any obligation to pay damages or compensation for loss, damage or inconvenience caused to any consumer through any suspension,failure,discontinuance in whole or partial interruption of the supply of electricity howsoever caused

NATIONAL ELECTRIC POWER DECREE NO 24 OF 1972 NOW CAP 256 LFN 1990.

From 2001 when internally driven Reforms started, emphasis shifted to the consumer as the main focus of Business

1990. From 2001 when internally driven Reforms started, emphasis shifted to the consumer as the main
MAIN FEATURES OF THE ELECTRICITY INDUSTRY PRE - 2001 Monopoly Market was guaranteed Efficiency and

MAIN FEATURES OF THE ELECTRICITY INDUSTRY PRE - 2001

MonopolyMAIN FEATURES OF THE ELECTRICITY INDUSTRY PRE - 2001 Market was guaranteed Efficiency and profitability were

Market was guaranteedFEATURES OF THE ELECTRICITY INDUSTRY PRE - 2001 Monopoly Efficiency and profitability were non-issues Vertically

Efficiency and profitability were non-issuesINDUSTRY PRE - 2001 Monopoly Market was guaranteed Vertically integrated administrative structure Salaries and

Vertically integrated administrative structurewas guaranteed Efficiency and profitability were non-issues Salaries and overheads were guaranteed Capital projects

Salaries and overheads were guaranteednon-issues Vertically integrated administrative structure Capital projects funded by Federal Government through

Capital projects funded by Federal Government through annual budgetary provisions. annual budgetary provisions.

Customer care was not the main focus of businessby Federal Government through annual budgetary provisions. Quality of service delivery was poor Billing operation was

Quality of service delivery was poorprovisions. Customer care was not the main focus of business Billing operation was manual and characterized

Billing operation was manual and characterized by inefficiencies. inefficiencies.

Enabling Decree (Act) still in force and immunity therefore still in place. therefore still in place.

Contract of power supply for electricity was tilted in favour of the service provider. favour of the service provider.

TURNING POINT The economic recession which became obvious in 1982,saw the continued funding of NEPA,

TURNING POINT

The economic recession which became obvious in 1982,saw the continued funding of NEPA, NITEL & other parastatals in the face of scarce resources as uneconomical.TURNING POINT In 1991,there was a paradigm shift from total dependence on Government to self sustenance

In 1991,there was a paradigm shift from total dependence on Government to self sustenance powered by the concept of partial or quasi commercialization dependence on Government to self sustenance powered by the concept of partial or quasi commercialization of the then NEPA.

Restructuring of business operations shifted emphasis to consumer satisfaction. emphasis to consumer satisfaction.

POST 2001 SCENARIO National Electric Power Policy launched in March 2001, recognized the need for

POST 2001 SCENARIO

National Electric Power Policy launched in March 2001, recognized the need for fundamental reforms at all levels of the sector. the need for fundamental reforms at all levels of the sector.

EPIC (Electric Power Sector Reform Implementation Committee) was empowered to chart a policy direction for the Power Sector. was empowered to chart a policy direction for the Power Sector.

Privatization as deliberate choice for solving the problem of the sector was made. for solving the problem of the sector was made.

In 2003 the government went a step further to build a Consumer Right Structure by launching the Service Compact (SERVICOM) further to build a Consumer Right Structure by launching the Service Compact (SERVICOM)

The Customer Service Charter follows in the wake of SERVICOMRight Structure by launching the Service Compact (SERVICOM) The document set Service Delivery benchmark and defined

The document set Service Delivery benchmark and defined the rights and obligations of the custom er, the Service Provider and the Government. rights and obligations of the customer, the Service Provider and the Government.

Decree No 24 of 1972 which established NEPA was repealed in March 2005 and replaced

Decree No 24 of 1972 which established NEPA was repealed in March 2005 and replaced with Electric Power Sector Reform Act. repealed in March 2005 and replaced with Electric Power Sector Reform Act.

Emphasis shifted to efficient service delivery with customer satisfaction as the main focus of business.2005 and replaced with Electric Power Sector Reform Act. Consciousness to the provisions of the Customer

Consciousness to the provisions of the Customer Service Charter was re-awakened. Charter was re-awakened.

Customer Rights are adequately embedded in the Customer Service Charter, crafted in the principles of Common Law and internal policies of NEPA. Customer Service Charter, crafted in the principles of Common Law and internal policies of NEPA.

CONSUMER RIGHTS PROTECTION - UNDER SERVICOM The concept of Consumer Rights Protection is contained in

CONSUMER RIGHTS PROTECTION - UNDER SERVICOM

The concept of Consumer Rights Protection is contained in the Customer Service Charter summarized as follows:

Right to adequate and quality electricity for at least 15hrs daily when not on load shedding. Right to credible bills within the billing month. Right to be appropriately metered and connected to the network. Right to periodic information on tariff. Right to adequate notice prior to disconnection. Right to rapid response to fault / complaints Right to proper identification of visiting field officers Right to prompt attention Right to free access to Customer Care Centres Right to be issued with receipt for all payments

STRUCTURE FOR CONSUMER RIGHTS PROTECTION IN ENUGU ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY Customer Care Project care

STRUCTURE FOR CONSUMER RIGHTS PROTECTION IN ENUGU ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY

Customer CareRIGHTS PROTECTION IN ENUGU ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY Project care Personalized marketing High profile debt

Project careIN ENUGU ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY Customer Care Personalized marketing High profile debt reconciliation

Personalized marketingELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY Customer Care Project care High profile debt reconciliation & management Rural

High profile debt reconciliation & managementCOMPANY Customer Care Project care Personalized marketing Rural complaints & Debts management Special purpose

Rural complaints & Debts managementmarketing High profile debt reconciliation & management Special purpose customer Management Data Analysis &

Special purpose customer Management& management Rural complaints & Debts management Data Analysis & Forecast On-Site meter maintenance Unit

Data Analysis & Forecast& Debts management Special purpose customer Management On-Site meter maintenance Unit Anti corruption &

On-Site meter maintenance Unitpurpose customer Management Data Analysis & Forecast Anti corruption & transparency Unit Customer complaints

Anti corruption & transparency UnitManagement Data Analysis & Forecast On-Site meter maintenance Unit Customer complaints Prepayment Metering Tech 10

Customer complaintsAnalysis & Forecast On-Site meter maintenance Unit Anti corruption & transparency Unit Prepayment Metering Tech 10

Prepayment Metering TechData Analysis & Forecast On-Site meter maintenance Unit Anti corruption & transparency Unit Customer complaints 10

CUSTOMER COMPLAINS HANDLING FAULTS STRUCTURES ON GROUND MAIN FEATURES EFFECTIVENESS / ACHIEVEMENT REMARKS

CUSTOMER COMPLAINS HANDLING FAULTS

STRUCTURES ON GROUND

MAIN FEATURES

EFFECTIVENESS / ACHIEVEMENT

REMARKS

CUSTOMER

Documentation of reports

Restoration of customer

Operational

CARE

Management of report to point of clearing

Maintenance of Data on faults received & action taken

System & network information collation and management.

confidence through prompt response to faults

Above 90% success on LV faults clearing within 6 hrs

Deployment of faults clearing and rapid response vans

STRUCTURE ON GROUND MAIN FEATURES EFFECTIVENESS / ACHIEVEMENT REMARKS PROJECT CARE UNIT Takes

STRUCTURE ON GROUND

MAIN FEATURES

EFFECTIVENESS / ACHIEVEMENT

REMARKS

PROJECT CARE UNIT

Takes conventional customer care operations to higher level

Quick response and better faults management

Operational

24hrs help desk operation with multiple phone line (30 lines at main hub)

Customer satisfaction in service delivery

Robust faults clearing operation backed by field based fault Units

Customer Information management is now IT Based

24hrs response to faults reports guaranteed

Online, real time customer accounts information provided.

 

SMS broadcast facility for customer information and feedback.

 

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STRUCTURE ON GROUND MAIN FEATURES EFFECTIVENESS / ACHIEVEMENT REMARKS PERSONALISED MARKETING Total customer management

STRUCTURE ON GROUND

MAIN FEATURES

EFFECTIVENESS / ACHIEVEMENT

REMARKS

PERSONALISED

MARKETING

Total customer management initiative by designated marketers Assignment of zones to marketers for management of monthly meter reading, bill distribution, disconnection when necessary, and reconnection. Proper tariff compliance, identification and regularization of illegal connection Bills carry name and phone numbers of managing marketers for interactive business relationship Phones officially procured for marketers who are also provided with recharge credit

Tremendous improvement in customer satisfaction Drastic reduction of billing errors Regular meter reading and prompt bill distribution Restoration and reinforcement of bill credibility Improvement of response

Operational

     

MAIN FEATURES

EFFECTIVENESS / ACHIEVEMENT

REMARKS

STRUCTURE ON GROUND

 

HIGH PROFILE DEBTS RECONCILATION AND MANAGEMENT

Thoroughly investigate aged debts Investigation and reconciliation customer complaint on huge debts Reduces cases of doubtful billing and encourage payment Reaches out to customer caught in huge debts and proposes payment plan

Restoration of faith in the company as a business partner Improvement in collection Huge reduction in aged debt profile

Operational

Guaranteed source of about 9% of zonal monthly revenue

 

RURAL COMPLAINTS AND DEBT MANAGEMENT

Enforces improved supply delivery and equitable power allocation to rural customer Introduction of new metering strategy including bulk metering where acceptable Introduction of scientific estimation using load and feeder availability as factors to the delights of customer Reconciliation of rural debts and encouragement of phased payment

Drastic reduction of customer apathy. Response improved by over

Operational

 

100%

Restoration of confidence in the company

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15 STRUCTURE ON GROUND MAIN FEATURES EFFECTIVENESS / ACHIEVEMENT REMARKS SPECIAL PURPOSE CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT

15

STRUCTURE ON GROUND

MAIN FEATURES

EFFECTIVENESS / ACHIEVEMENT

REMARKS

SPECIAL

PURPOSE

CUSTOMER

MANAGEMENT

Identification of customer in special businesses like restaurants, super markets, filling stations for special care Assigning of marketers for regular interaction and resolution of their metering and billing complaints Attention is personalized.

Restoration of billing integrity

Over 95% response to bills

Restoration of confidence in the company

Operational

DATA ANALYSIS AND FORECAST

Analysis of field data for management information Building historical data bank Sanitizing customer data base by identifying and expunging uncollectable debts Fast tracking the process of customer complaints handling speedy correction of wrong bill Improve the quality of customer bills and encourage payment Improve accountability for energy importation by improving the billing efficiency

Restoration of customer confidence in our bills

DCU has assisted in speedy adjustment of customer records and accounts

Reliable customer statistics now maintained

Operational in 3 business units extension to other business unit will be completed by the end of the 1 st qtr

STRUCTURE ON GROUND ON SITE METER MAINTENANCE UNIT ANTI CORRUPTION AND TRANSPARENCY UNIT

STRUCTURE ON GROUND

ON SITE METER MAINTENANCE UNIT

ANTI

CORRUPTION

AND

TRANSPARENCY

UNIT

MAINTENANCE UNIT ANTI CORRUPTION AND TRANSPARENCY UNIT MAIN FEATURES Rehabilitating faulty and tampared meters on

MAIN FEATURES

Rehabilitating faulty and tampared meters on site Improving quality of meter reading Improving metering and energy measurement

Tracks anti customer behaviour and investigates fully Conducts investigation speedily and hands out sanctions where deserved.

customer behaviour and investigates fully Conducts investigation speedily and hands out sanctions where deserved.
customer behaviour and investigates fully Conducts investigation speedily and hands out sanctions where deserved.
customer behaviour and investigates fully Conducts investigation speedily and hands out sanctions where deserved.
customer behaviour and investigates fully Conducts investigation speedily and hands out sanctions where deserved.
customer behaviour and investigates fully Conducts investigation speedily and hands out sanctions where deserved.

EFFECTIVENESS / ACHIEVEMENT

Increasing customer confidence in the bills raised on actual consumption

Check corruption tendencies among staff

Check corruption tendencies among staff
Check corruption tendencies among staff
Check corruption tendencies among staff
Check corruption tendencies among staff

Defining ethical direction of the company

REMARKS

Pilot scheme on-going in Onitsha Business Units

Has drastically reduced corruption tendencies especially extortion from customers

Has drastically reduced corruption tendencies especially extortion from customers
Has drastically reduced corruption tendencies especially extortion from customers
Has drastically reduced corruption tendencies especially extortion from customers
Has drastically reduced corruption tendencies especially extortion from customers
Has drastically reduced corruption tendencies especially extortion from customers
STRUCTURE ON GROUND MAIN FEATURES EFFECTIVENESS / ACHIEVEMENT REMARKS CUSTOMER Complaints boxes

STRUCTURE ON GROUND

MAIN FEATURES

EFFECTIVENESS / ACHIEVEMENT

REMARKS

CUSTOMER

Complaints boxes positioned strategically for receiving customers comments / complaints

Exposes fraud and evil tendencies

Operation

COMPLAINTS

Risk free methods of encouraging aggrieved customers to speak out

Opened up easy avenue for complaints handling

PREPAYMENT

Eliminates meter reading for customer affected. Eliminates billing errors Eliminates estimations

Improved customer satisfaction No more payment for unused energy Helps the customer to manage energy consumption and the bills

Operational

METERING

TECHNOLOGY

 
CUSTOMER INFORMATION AND EDUCATION CUSTOMER Enlarged consumer consultative meeting open to the general public and

CUSTOMER INFORMATION AND EDUCATION

CUSTOMER

Enlarged consumer consultative meeting open to the general public and held monthly in every business unit. provides avenue for interaction with the public on all issues relating to operations

Provide opportunity for all embracing discussion Promotes mutual understanding Resolved issues caused by misunderstanding

 

FORUM

Operational in all Business units

RADIO AND TV PROGRAM SPONSORSHIP

Live phone-in program used to discuss current or important issues relating to power distribution & marketing

Very popular for information and education of customers Accessible and affordable platform for resolution of issues

Operational

RADIO AND TV PROGRAM SPONSORSHIP

Audience participants clear their doubts while listeners are better educated. Regular feature in All business units. The HQ has been sponsoring such for 3 years

Very popular for information and education of customers

Operational

 

SMS broadcast facilities for mass communication

Deployment of SMS broadcast facility for information on localized outages Project care initiative deriving efficiency from customer data bank . Delivers apologies outages notices in a most thrilling manner to customer (sometime in local languages)

Laid to rest the perception of the company as insensitive and uncaring

Operational

REDRESSAL MACHINERY ANTI CORRUPTION CRUSADE COMLAINTS BOX Investigates customers petition against

REDRESSAL MACHINERY

ANTI

CORRUPTION

CRUSADE

COMLAINTS

BOX

Investigates customers petition against any staff on corruption or extortion Disciplines erring staff Restores customers confidence in doing business with us

staff on corruption or extortion Disciplines erring staff Restores customers confidence in doing business with us
staff on corruption or extortion Disciplines erring staff Restores customers confidence in doing business with us

For receiving letters from customers on anti customer behaviour of staff Provides avenue for customers to express their grievances to higher management

on anti customer behaviour of staff Provides avenue for customers to express their grievances to higher

A number of cases have been treated by the committee which is present in all business units. Proven cases of anti customer behaviours or corruption fully addressed and the customer notified.

all business units. Proven cases of anti customer behaviours or corruption fully addressed and the customer
all business units. Proven cases of anti customer behaviours or corruption fully addressed and the customer

Letter in this box form source information for the anti corruption committee.

Letter in this box form source information for the anti corruption committee.
GAP ANALYSIS S/N CONSUMER RIGHTS EFFECTIVENESS NEXT STEP ATTAINED 1. Right to adequate and quality

GAP ANALYSIS

S/N

CONSUMER RIGHTS

EFFECTIVENESS

NEXT STEP

ATTAINED

1.

Right to adequate and quality electricity for at least 15hrs daily when not on load shedding.

- Poorly addressed due to inadequate generation, weak transmission and distribution infrastructure, etc

- Improvement of generation and other infrastructure

2.

Right to credible bills within the billing month

- Poorly addressed due to poor metering infrastructure, preponderance of obsolete meters, etc

- Improvement of metering and billing technology & infrastructure

3.

Right to be appropriately metered and connected to the network.

- Fairly addressed through local initiatives. - On-sight meter rehabilitation - Temporary direct connection

- Improvement of metering technology through replacement of obsolete meters and deployment of prepayment meters

4.

Right to periodic information on tariff.

- Adequately addressed through local initiatives. - Periodic publication of tariff

- Strengthen existing program on meter installation

5.

Right to adequate notice prior to disconnection.

- Fairly addressed through local initiatives. - Use of disconnection notice

- Expand existing program on regular meter reading and prompt bill distribution

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S/N CONSUMER EFFECTIVENESS NEXT STEP RIGHTS ATTAINED 6. Right to rapid response to faults /

S/N

CONSUMER

EFFECTIVENESS

NEXT STEP

RIGHTS

ATTAINED

6.

Right to rapid response to faults / complaints

- Fairly addressed through local initiatives - Rapid response teams - Ultimate care project

There is room for improvement with more funding

7.

Right to proper identification of visiting field officers

- Adequately addressed - Insistence on use of ID cards - Inclusion of names & GSM nos of officers on the bill [marketers]

More funding required for improvement

-

8.

Right to prompt attention

- Adequately addressed

Sustenance of performance

9.

Right to free access to Customer Care Centres

- Adequately addressed

Sustenance of performance

10.

Right to be issued with receipt for all payments

- Adequately addressed

Sustenance of performance

-

SUMMARY Consumer Rights protection is a global phenomenon which awareness is growing. Application of this

SUMMARY

Consumer Rights protection is a global phenomenon which awareness is growing.

Application of this phenomenon must take into account the stage of development of the electricity supply industry

Structures discussed are not perfect but can be improved upon as the industry develops and private investment flows in.

Expected inflow of resources will strengthen the system, reinforce its risk bearing capacity as well as make the market more competitive and efficiency driven.

Application of the global concept of Consumer Rights protection especially its liability and compensatory aspects will naturally crystallize.

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CONCLUSION No structure can be considered perfect. None can capture unforeseen developments in a very

CONCLUSION

No structure can be considered perfect. None can capture unforeseen developments in a very dynamic market like the electricity industry.CONCLUSION The service provider has high stakes and knows that consumers whose Rights are adequately protected

The service provider has high stakes and knows that consumers whose Rights are adequately protected will be more willing to co-operate in ensuring sanity consumers whose Rights are adequately protected will be more willing to co-operate in ensuring sanity in the market.

Then, benefits will accrue mutually and we can sayprotected will be more willing to co-operate in ensuring sanity in the market. “ Consumer, Service

ensuring sanity in the market. Then, benefits will accrue mutually and we can say “ Consumer,

Consumer,

ensuring sanity in the market. Then, benefits will accrue mutually and we can say “ Consumer,

Service Provider

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