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NERC, FCCPC engage Ikeja Electric on consumers’ constraints in activating tokens on prepayment meters

*Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of FCCPC, discloses the market regulatory Commission has been in engagement with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and Ikeja Electric, based in Lagos State, to resolve consumers’ complaints, and any associated difficulties with vending or purchasing electricity tokens in the company’s franchise area 

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Against the backdrop of the much publicised imminent increases in electricity tariffs, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) says it has received several complaints from consumers in the franchise area of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC), covering Lagos and Ogun States.

Mr. Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO), in a statement issued Friday, June 30, 2023, said the affected electricity consumers’ complaints were with respect to their inability to purchase, and or activate electricity tokens or units for their prepayment meters over a recent extended period of time.

Prepayment electricity meters

ConsumerConnect had reported the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) would effect an upward review of power tariffs by July 1, 2023, as “has been rumoured, perceived, or represented publicly.”

Irukera noted that the market regulatory Commission has been in engagement with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and IKEDC in order to resolve these complaints and any associated difficulties with vending or purchasing tokens.

He also stated: “Commission understands that the difficulties arose in part because the past days have been public holidays; and vending agents were inundated with significant purchases in excess of usual vending and purchase, as a result of consumers seeking to make larger than usual purchases in order to pre-empt any perceived change in tariffs purportedly on July 1, 2023 as has been rumoured, perceived or represented publicly.

Regulators assure consumers situation now under control 

Meanwhile, the FCCPC Executive Vice-Chairman has disclosed the situation is now under control, and IKEDC represented to the Commission that any vending constraints are unassociated with any presumptive changes in tariffs.”

According to Irukera, IKEDC has committed to continuing to conduct its business, including vending tokens in accordance with prevailing law and tariffs of the time of vending.

The statement further said the Commission noted to IKEDC, and other DisCos, that restricting or constricting supply or vending in a manner that prevents or impedes purchases or consumption at consumer discretion in anticipation of any changes in prevailing fiscal regimes constitutes an infringement of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018 (FCCPA), and is impermissibly oppressive.

Irukera said: “Sections 17(g), (x) and 125 of the FCCPA prohibits unconscionable, obnoxious, unfair, unscrupulous business practises, as well as unfair tactics in the course of legitimate business.

“The Commission will enforce the law to the fullest extent of same, especially when the conduct is to deny citizens access to an essential utility except under operation of law.”[do_widget id=heateor_sss_sharing-2]


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