Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Agency (NERC) Dr. Sam Amadi, has said the Commission would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that indicted Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) in the ongoing public hearing on metering irregularities in the Nigerian Electricity sector, are prosecuted in the court of law.
Amadi who spoke exclusively to LEADERSHIP in Abuja, said if found guilty by the law court, such CEOs would be sent to jail to serve as deterrent to others and pass a strong message that it is no longer business as usual in the sector.
He said where a case of crime and exploitation is established, the CEOs would be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution, noting that when some people see themselves in jail, the corruption and stealing in the sector will abate. “That is what we have resolved to do, we are going to go to the EFCC to enforce the arrest. Henceforth we will ask customers to give us receipt of payment, and where they are charged more than what is in the tariff, it’s a crime.”
The NERC boss said this on the heels of revelations of huge fraud that had existed in the sector for long, as uncovered by the probe committee set up by NERC and headed by renowned human rights Lawyer, Bamidele Aturu, which indicted most of the CEOs of the Discos of engaging in sharp practices to the detriment of Nigerians.
According to him, “The reason why we set up the public hearing was because we knew that there were lots of fraud in the sector. It is a sector that has not been regulated in the past, a sector where people have constituted into private business ventures. The idea for the committee was to establish a baseline and put a face to this issue of exploitative billing and extortion. We needed to have firsthand information from customers because we know that even if we had asked the Discos to give us the complaints for us to know howto manage them, they would not have given us.”