Nigerian Electricity Regulatory
Commission NERC has ordered Electricity
distribution companies to ensure that
customer that gains access to electricity by
tampering or meter bypass shall in addition
to paying for the reconnection costs and
administrative charges also pay for the loss
of revenue by the DisCo for the unauthorized
consumption by paying back-bills. This was
part of circular released yesterday in Abuja.
The circular titled “ORDER ON
UNAUTHORISED ACCESS, METER
TAMPERING AND BY-PASS ORDER NO:
NERC/REG/41/2017” stated that upon due
consideration of the complains coming from
service providers, and the need to reduce
unauthorized access to electricity supply by
tampering and meter bypass; the Commission
pursuant to the powers conferred by EPSRA
and Regulation 12 (1) of CDPES hereby
approves the following conditions for
reconnecting unauthorized connections: Any
customer that gains unauthorized access
to electricity by tampering or meter bypass
shall be reconnected upon payment of the
reconnection costs in the schedule at the
circular.

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They include, Maximum Demand (MD)
Meters the initial incident of unauthorized
access to electricity by tampering or bypassing
an MD meter shall attract a reconnection
cost of 300% of the last authorized recorded
monthly consumption of the customer.
Subsequent incidents of unauthorized
access to electricity by tampering or bypassing
an MD meter shall attract a reconnection
cost of 450% of the last authorized recorded
monthly consumption of the customer.
Administrative Charges All customers shall
be liable to pay the administrative charges
below III addition to the reconnection costs
stated in the schedule above.
DisCos are authorized to back-bill customers
who gain unauthorized access to electricity at
the prevailing tariff of the customer for the
established period of the unauthorized access.
All DisCos shall file reports on all cases of
unauthorized access with the Commission
on a monthly basis. DisCos shall be liable
to pay customers delayed reconnection
costs for failing to reconnect the customer
within 48 hours of the customers’ payment
of reconnection costs and administrative
charges for unauthorized access to electricity
in accordance with Regulation of 11 of
CDPES. DisCos shall also be liable to pay
customers delayed reconnection costs where

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the customer was unjustifiably disconnected.
The “Commission” is required by section 32
(1) Cb) of Electric Power Sector ,Reform Act
(“EPSRA”) to maximize access to electricity
services, by promoting and facilitating
customer connection to distribution systems
in both rural and urban areas.
The Connection & Disconnection
Procedures for Electricity Services (“CDPES”)
Regulations of 2007 provide for the connection
of customers to electricity distribution
networks by distribution companies
(“DisCos”).
DisCos are authorized to disconnect
unauthorized connections to the distribution
network without giving any notice in
compliance with Regulation 6 (a) of CDPES.
The conditions for reconnecting
unauthorized connections to the distribution
network are provided for Regulation 12 (l)
(C) of CDPES and these conditions include – i.
Customers’ formalization of electricity supply
arrangements to the satisfaction of the DisCo.
Payment of approved reconnection costs
to the DisCo or entering into an agreement
for the payment of reconnection costs. The
Commission has received complaints from
DisCos and has also observed an increase
in the incidents of unauthorized access to
electricity and meter bypass by customers.

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