The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has taken a significant step toward improving service delivery to citizens with the launch of a groundbreaking power outage reporting application. The app, unveiled by NERC Chairperson Sanusi Garba during a ceremony in Abuja on Monday, promises to empower Nigerians to report power outages and disruptions efficiently.
In a statement during the launch event, Chairperson Sanusi Garba emphasized the importance of this initiative, aligning it with NERC’s commitment to customer satisfaction. He highlighted that this move is a response to recent consumer protection regulations, setting clear timelines for utilities, especially distribution companies (DisCos), to address customer complaints promptly.
Originally designed to assess the quality of power supply, the app has evolved into a powerful tool for real-time monitoring of DisCos’ performance. Garba encouraged Nigerians to utilize the app to voice their concerns, assuring them of swift responses. He also announced plans for a national rollout to cover all distribution companies, starting with Abuja.
“This application is a vital step toward ensuring that DisCos comply with our established standards,” Garba stated. “We’ve begun with Abuja as a test run, and the rollout will extend nationwide. Distribution companies with the highest complaint rates will be given priority.”
Christopher Ezeafulukwe, Chairperson of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), commended the collaboration between the commission, distribution companies, and consumers, stating that this app would create a mutually beneficial situation.
Ezeafulukwe explained, “Feedback from our customers is our feedstock, enabling us to deliver on our service promises. This app’s development demonstrates that collaboration can lead to a win-win situation for all stakeholders. For the regulator, it means greater oversight to protect and sustain value. For distribution companies, it catalyzes data-based decision-making.”
App Functionality Simplifies Reporting Process
Aisha Mahmud, NERC Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, shed light on the app’s functionality and its partnership with DisCos. She explained that the app collected data on supply hours for customers in different service bands, enhancing user protection.
Mahmud detailed the app’s multi-channel approach, saying, “Customers’ information is already stored in the app if you are a customer of a DisCo. To report an outage, simply download the mobile app from Apple or Google store, enter your meter number, and log your complaint. The app automatically sends a confirmation to other customers on the same feeder to verify the outage.”
She continued, “Once confirmed by two to three customers, the app notifies the DisCo with a resolution timeline. When the DisCo resolves the complaint, the app updates with ‘resolved’ status and sends a confirmation to affected customers.”
This innovative power outage reporting app marks a significant step forward in ensuring accountability and swift responses within Nigeria’s power sector, offering hope for improved services to the nation’s citizens.