In a bid to enhance the quality of power supply services in Nigeria, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has launched a groundbreaking application that empowers citizens to report power outages and disruptions across the nation.
The official launch of the Power Outage Reporting App took place in Abuja, where Sanusi Garba, NERC chairperson, emphasized its significance in improving the power supply landscape. Garba highlighted that the app was initially conceived to assess power quality but evolved into a powerful tool for real-time DisCo performance monitoring.
“I think a lot of you can recall that we recently launched a new consumer protection regulation that provides timelines within which public utilities, and especially distribution companies (DisCos), are required to resolve complaints by customers. This particular app that we have launched today is supposed to assist the commission in monitoring that DisCos are actually complying with the standards set out in that regulation.”
This development aligns with NERC’s commitment to consumer protection and satisfaction. Garba encouraged citizens to utilize the app, emphasizing that prompt responses would enhance confidence in the commission and DisCos.
Abuja to test run the Power outage reporting app
Although the name of the app was not specifically given, the app not only aims to streamline the process of reporting power issues but also serves as a vital tool for monitoring and ensuring that DisCos meet regulatory standards in addressing consumer complaints.
The app is to first launch in Abuja with the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), where it will serve as a test run, with plans for a national rollout to encompass all distribution companies across Nigeria. This phased approach allows for refinement and ensures that the app functions optimally before widespread implementation.
“We decided to start this launch with Abuja. There’ll be a national rollout for all distribution companies,” Garba said. “Such a massive application would require some test run and so on.
“So, AEDC is like a guinea pig for the app but we’ll quickly expedite the rollout to other distribution companies but obviously the DisCos where we are having the highest level of complaints will be ranked higher in terms of the rollout.”
On his part, Christopher Ezeafulukwe, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) chairperson, commended NERC for this collaborative effort. He stressed that the app represents a win-win scenario for all stakeholders as it facilitates better communication and data-driven decision-making. Ezeafulukwe emphasised that customer feedback is essential for utility providers to improve service delivery and meet contractual obligations.
What you should know about the app
The Power Outage Reporting App is designed to be user-friendly and efficient. Aisha Mahmud, NERC commissioner of consumer affairs, says data of hours of supply to customers on each service band, in a bid to protect users, was obtained.
“It utilises a multi-channel approach. We liaised with the different distribution companies and obtained a lot of data on their customers. So if you’re a customer of a DisCo and you are being supplied by the DisCo, your information is already stored in that app,” she says.
In explaining the app’s functionality in detail, she noted that customers could easily download the app from Apple or Google stores, and registration requires only their meter number.
Upon registering a complaint about a power outage, the app sends a confirmation request to other customers on the same feeder to verify the issue. Once multiple confirmations are received, the app notifies the DisCo, which is then responsible for resolving the problem within a specified timeline.
The app keeps customers informed about the status of their complaints, ensuring transparency and accountability in the resolution process.
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