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FCCPC backs NERC on action against DisCos over arbitrary billing of electricity consumers

*The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission applauds the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission for moving against 11 Electricity Distribution Companies over non-compliance with the capping of estimated bills for unmetered electricity consumers in the country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has commended the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for its recent action against 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) for non-compliance with the capping of estimated bills for unmetered electricity consumers in the country.

Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, Acting Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of FCCPC, who stated this Monday, Fecruary, 12, 2024, noted the NERC decisive measure aligned with the FCCPC’s mandate outlined in the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) 2018, particularly Section 17 (s).

Abdullahi said that the mandate empowers the market regulatory Commission to protect consumers from obnoxious practices or unscrupulous exploitation by companies, firms, trade associations or individuals, and to demand redress on their behalf.

The Acting EVC/CEO of FCCPC stated: “We stand in solidarity with NERC in its commitment to safeguard unmetered customers from arbitrary billing by DisCos. The capping regulation was a significant step towards ensuring fairer treatment for those without meters, and the FCCPC fully supports its enforcement.

“Furthermore, we urge NERC to consider even stronger measures to deter future violations. This could include increased financial penalties, stricter enforcement mechanisms, and even the revocation of operating licenses for persistent offenders.”

Accoding to him, the FCCPC further reiterates its unwavering commitment to ensuring a better deal for electricity consumers in Nigeria.

“Apart from its routine resolution of electricity consumer complaints, the Commission will continue to organise electricity consumer platforms across the country.

“These platforms have provided invaluable opportunities for consumers to voice their complaints and receive instant responses and redress from DisCos and regulators, including the FCCPC,” said Abdullahi.

The FCCPC Chief disclosed the Commission’s existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NERC “aims to ensure more effective protection for electricity consumers through information sharing, joint investigations, and coordinated enforcement actions.”

The Commission believes that fundamental reforms are necessary to address the systemic challenges facing the sector, including metering gaps, billing malpractices, and inadequate customer service, said he.

The Commission also noted: “We encourage consumers who have been shortchanged by estimated bills to come forward and lodge complaints with their respective DisCos, and escalate such complaints to NERC or the FCCPC, when not satisfactorily resolved. “We are committed to investigating all legitimate complaints and securing redress for consumers.”

Abdullahi stated: “The FCCPC will persistently collaborate with NERC to work tirelessly to ensure that Nigerian electricity consumers receive fair treatment, accurate billing, and quality service.

“We stand united in ensuring a fair and just electricity market for all consumers in Nigeria.”

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