Obrein Simasiku Omuthiya-The Northern Regional Electricity Distributor (Nored) has vowed to refund clients who have put up large sums of money as deposit for transformers. Individual first-time clients in areas with no readily set-up electricity transformers to connect households were previously required to post large deposits and payments for the cost of a transformer. The payments at times amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The first clients, who had to pay for the setting up of a transformer, were never given back a portion of the money, even when other households and individuals were connected to the transformer at a lesser cost. The practice has been a thorn in the flesh of Nored, especially when individual clients have come to regard such transformers as their own private property, for which they paid in full. At times the first-time client, who paid for the initial costs of setting up the transformer, would refuse to have other households and individuals connected to the grid through that transformer. In some instances, the person who had first applied for electricity connection would charge whatever amount they wanted for any person who wished to get connected to the transformer. “Nored will proportionally refund customers who made the first capital payment on the project to ensure fairness. For instance, if the person made a capital payment of N$100,000, the amount the next people will pay will be determined based on the capacity of the transformer, as to how many households can be accommodated. “So, if it accommodates five households, it means each will pay N$20,000, which would then be refunded to the capital payment individual. This was created to make [electricity] affordable and accessible to everyone,” stressed Nored’s executive manager for corporate affairs, Toivo Shovaleka, last week during a stakeholders’ meeting at Okashana. In the past there were incidents when the person who initial laid out the capital would request N$50,000 from those wishing to be connected. Speaking at the same occasion was Shinana Shinana, Nored manager for operation and maintenance for northwest, who used the platform to explain that the transformers remain the property of Nored, although the customers are required to pay for it. “The transformer will always remain the property of Nored. People should know that paying for the transformers does not guarantee that it is yours, what is yours is actually power,” explained Shinana in response to questions from people who felt the transformers belong to them and that they have the right to decide who can be connected or not. “For instance, you buy the transformer today, it gets connected and then the next day it gets damaged. Will you afford to buy another one? And will you still [say] it’s yours, or you will call Nored?” he queried. “In that regard, we will replace or fix it and you should know that transformers need to be changed from time to time. So, once anything happens we will always be there at anytime to attend to the issue. That why it always remains our responsibility to manage it,” Shinana added. Regarding the refunds, Shinana said customers should know that the value of transformers depreciates as time goes by, hence they should not expect to be refunded with high amounts based on the price they had paid.
2017-10-17 09:50:36 11 months ago