The Independent Energy Watch Initiative, an NGO, has launched first Africa indigenous energy management mobile software to fast-track information dissemination in power sector.
This is contained in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Chairman of the organisation, Mr Chidi Ike.
Ike said the organisation aimed to facilitate a healthy interchange between the customers and service providers through its Energy Centre.
“The Energy Centre, which is a product of the Independent Energy Watch Initiative (I-WIN), is an energy management mobile software application that seeks to bridge the information gap in the Nigerian power sector.
“The Energy Centre has been designed both as a knowledge base as well as an information source about the power sector in Nigeria.
“It is downloadable on smart mobile devices, very user friendly, highly interactive and offers multiple service options including payment of electricity bills, prepaid meter token purchases, and verification,’’ he said.
Others, he said, are reporting of electricity related issues, useful energy saving tips, estimation of electricity consumption and bills.
Ike said the App would make customers to make a complaint and forward to the appropriate channels, or seek clarification on any issue regarding the power sector and receive a feedback within 48 hours.
The chairman stated that electricity touched the lives of everyone in one way or the other.
“The fact that the Nigerian power sector has not been able to serve the needs of teeming Nigerians both for domestic and commercial purposes has made the issue of power topical.
“The privatisation of the power sector, as sold to Nigerians by the proponents of reform, was supposed to herald an era of improved service delivery.
“Whether this has been achieved remains debatable,’’ he said.
Ike said the electricity regulator in the past promoted the cause of electricity customer rights groups as a means of improving the lot of the Nigerian people.
He said a better informed customer was more likely to pressure the service provider to perform; pointing out that a better informed customer appreciated the operational impediments faced by the operators.
“It can, therefore, be said that an era of better informed customers breeds an environment of mutual understanding and cooperation between service providers and their customers.
“The challenge, therefore, lies in the ability to develop an information system that ensures that the electricity customer is availed of requisite information about the power sector in an effective and efficient manner.
“After all, the odds favour the notion that ‘an informed customer is a rational customer,’’ he said.