What You Should Know Regarding PHCN/NEPA


God: Let there be light! (PHCN)

Presidents forum

America:              Present

China:                  Present

Australia:             Present 

Nigeria left the group chat

How many people have had their lights disconnected by NEPA?! Calm down, calm down. I know we are plenty on that table. 

Another question.

How many people have had to contribute money after their transformer blew or got destroyed or something happened to their light? 

If your answer to both questions is yes then congratulations! This is the problem faced by 80%? A large population of the country. 

I remember when I was much younger and PHCN was called NEPA (National Electric Power Authority) before the time of Solar Power and Inverters weren’t as popular. Lanterns and candles were commonplace. When NEPA became ‘born again’ and baptised as PHCN – Power Holding Company of Nigeria, (A particular Newspaper then interpreted PHCN to stand for Please Hold Candles Near. Lol), some were hopeful, after all, who wants to remain in darkness? Even God wants us to have light and I have to admit, it did get better but certain problems persisted;

  1. Cutting/ Disconnecting people’s lights
  2. People contributing money when something happens to their Connection. 

As Nigerians, the need to understand the rights owed to us can not be overemphasized. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is empowered by the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act, 2005 to ensure an efficiently managed electricity supply industry that meets the yearnings of Nigerians for stable, adequate and safe electricity supply. It acts as a checkmate towards the powers of the PHCN. 

Rights Owed us by PHCN

1. Right to a properly installed and functional meter: In a letter dated September 18th, 2012 signed by the former Chairman of NERC Dr Sam Amadi, stated that; 

‘…you are NOT required to pay for your meter as the cost of the meter has been reflected in the new electricity tariff. For further clarification, there should be no exchange of monies between customers and any PHCN staff except when you are purchasing your electricity credit or recharging your meter.

Any individual requesting payment for a meter or for its installation is doing so against the law and can face prosecution by EFCC…’ The letter  (Unfortunately, this letter is no longer available on their website).

2. Disconnection of Electricity Supply: Section 5 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 Connection and Disconnection Procedure Electricity Services, 2007 – 

A Distribution Company may only disconnect supply to a Customer’s address when the Customer has not paid the amount correctly billed for that supply address by the relevant payment date.

Provided that:

  • The payment date is clearly shown on the bill.
  • Payment date is at least 10 working days from the date of delivery of the bill to the supply address or a delivery address provided by the Customer, which is acceptable to the Distribution Company. 
  • Period between the date of payment and the date of disconnection is not less than 3 (three) months.
  • The Distribution Company has given the Customer a Written Notice… The Act
  • Exception: Where connection was done illegally. 

Other Rights Include:

1.  All customers have a right to refund when over billed.

2.    All customers have a right to file complaints and to the prompt investigation of complaints.

3.    All complaints on electricity supply and other billing issues are to be sent to the nearest business unit of the DisCo serving the customer. 

4.    If a complaint is not satisfactorily addressed, customers have a right to escalate the issue to the NERC Forum Office within the coverage area of the DisCo. 

5.    Customers have the right to appeal the decision of the NERC Forum Office by writing a petition to the Commission.

6.    It is the customer’s right to contest any electricity bill. 

7.    Any un-metered customer who is disputing his or her estimated bill has the right not to pay the disputed bill, but pay only the last undisputed bill as the contested bill go through the dispute resolution process of NERC.

8.    It is not the responsibility of electricity customer or community to buy, replace or repair electricity transformers, poles and related equipment used in the supply of electricity.

The National Electricity Regulatory Commission

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has been chosen as one of the agencies of government in a pilot scheme for the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act. The Commission also serves to develop the capacity for compliance with the provisions of the Act. 

The National Electricity Regulatory Commission has thought up ways to protect we the Consumers. Forums and other methods have been created in order to better suit the needs of the Consumers. 

To lay a complaint, simply click on the Complaint link and a step by step process will be presented. 

You can submit your Freedom Of Information (FOI) requests to our FOI Desk via email: foidesk@nerc.gov.ng 

Read more on Freedom of Information

15 comments on “What You Should Know Regarding PHCN/NEPA”

    1. According to Section 5 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 Connection and Disconnection Procedure Electricity Services, 2007 not less than 3 months and you are to be issued notice. Kindly read the article to see the link to the Act and the conditions give. Thank you.

        1. Good day Joseph, I believe you are billed based on the units of electricity you consume i.e. use. If you use a pre-paid meter then you purchase the amounts of units which you can afford. What this means is that if for an entire week, PHCN does not give you light, then it means you did not consume electricity for that week and therefore should not be billed for that week where you did not have light and vice versa. However, if you were billed, then you should write or lay a complained with NERC (Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission). Their complaint link is provided for in the article. Thank you and we hope we were able to answer your question.

  1. Section 5 of the electrical power reform No. 2 states that the costumer has the right to file a complaint and to the prompt investigation of complaints. Now PHCN have destroyed all my electrical appliances to the core not even a bulb is left. This is shere wickedness and I call for justice.

    1. Feel free to lodge whatever complaint you have on their website which is provided for in the article. Thank you for reading.

  2. Does NEPA have right to cut and take with them my wire? I mean the wire I bought myself or their duty is to cut and disconnect it from the pole and my house drop it down for me .

    1. This question is why I came here and unfortunately we haven’t gotten an answer yet even though I believe it’s not their right to do .

      I took my wire from where one of the nepa officials kept it yesterday after trying to leave with my wire the woman now lied that I beat her the good thing is that a lot of people were present at that time.

  3. Does NEPA have right to cut and take with them my wire? I mean the wire I bought myself or their duty is to cut and disconnect it from the pole and my house drop it down for me .

  4. NEPA give me a notice of 10 working days to update my outstanding bill according to them. After one day my light was disconnected, should I have the right to reconnect it back myself.

    1. Good day Idris. You do not have the right or responsibility of connecting light which was disconnected by NEPA. Instead, what you should do is to write or lay a complaint with the distribution company your house or street is under informing them of the problem. This letter or complaint will serve as evidence in future if need be. Reconnecting it yourself may lead to a fine by NEPA which they are legally within their rights to do.

  5. Please the house I rented in school for tears even before I packed in Nepa has never brought nepa bill to that house. So this year they came and disconnected our light and even took the wire saying we have been using light without payment(but remember no-one has ever brought bill to that house) so now they charged us a huge amount of money to cover the light that we have used. Is it right for us to pay.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *