The Federal Government has ordered power distribution companies to deploy customer engagement platforms within the next three months, beginning from September 1, 2023.

The directive meant the Discos must install the facilities before January 2024.

It gave the order through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, and explained that the directive became vital due to the failure of Discos in resolving the complaints of power users.

The directive was contained in a document from NERC, with order number: NERC/2023/006, obtained by The PUNCH in Abuja on Thursday, and titled, ‘Order on deployment of customer engagement platforms’.

In the document, the government said, “This order shall take effect from September 1, 2023 and shall remain in force until amended or revoked by subsequent orders issued by the NERC.”

Providing a background on the order, the commission stated that it had conducted town hall meetings, public consultations and reviewed reports of complaints from electricity distribution licensees or Discos.

It said the meetings and consultations “reveal that customers are dissatisfied with the rate of resolution of complaints filed with Discos.”

To address this, the NERC said it “resolved to deploy a call centre to improve the rate of resolution of complaints filed with Discos by providing near real-time visibility of customer complaints filed with Discos.

“The call centre will also provide an additional avenue for monitoring Discos’ service quality and delivery to their customers.”The power sector regulator noted that a consultant was engaged by the commission for the deployment of the call centre.

NERC stated, “The findings of preliminary investigations conducted revealed that some Discos were yet to deploy call centres and those that had deployed call centres had done so with infrastructure/specifications that failed to meet the requirements of the commission.

“All Discos are expected to have full-featured customer engagement platforms that integrate seamlessly with the system deployed by the commission.”

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