The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission on March 27, 2023, received a series of complaints from the Concerned Smart Prepaid Meter Users Association in Tamale against the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo). The Association in its petition to the Commission accused NEDCo for unexplained deductions in the deployment of its prepayment meters leading to the high cost of electric power. This petition was subsequently followed by a request from four (4) Chiefs in the Tamale metropolis (Chief of Lamashegu; Chief of Nyohini; Chief of Choggu; and the Dakpema Chief), requesting the Commission to expeditiously investigate the matter before it degenerates.
Following the complaint, the Northern Regional Office of PURC met with the leadership of the Association and officials of NEDCo to find an amicable solution to the matter. Although NEDCo indicated that the challenge was as a result of delay in tariff implementation, leadership of the Association was of the view that deployment of the smart meters was the actual cause of the challenge and demanded that the meters should be removed.
In an attempt to resolve the impasse between NEDCo and its customers, the Director of Regional Operations and Consumer Services in PURC (Alhaji Jabaru Abukari) paid a three-day working visit to the Region to further engage the consuming public and officials of the Service Provider.
The Director met with the staff of NEDCo for an in-depth assessment of the IT architecture. He further engaged with the public on Sagani Television to apprise them of steps the Commission was taking to investigate and resolve their concerns. He also used the opportunity to advise the public against the activities of illegal connections in the region.
The Director further engaged some communities including residents and chiefs of Lamashegu and Nyankpala at their various Palaces. The purpose of this engagement was to assure the communities of the Commission’s resolve to ensure that their concerns are fully addressed. Alhaji Jabaru in his closing remarks, thanked the Chiefs and residents of the communities for their trust in the work of the Commission and appealed to them to always report their unresolved complaints to the Commission for redress.