The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has disclosed that it is not the responsibility of electricity consumers/customers or communities to buy, replace or repair transformers, poles, cables and related items used in power supply.
The FCCPC’s Executive Commissioner, Dr. Adamu Abdullah revealed this on Wednesday in Benin, during a four-day opening of the commission’s electricity consumers’ complaints’ platforms with the State Stakeholders and some well-meaning public. A forum the Commission established to resolve the complaints of the consumers.
In his remarks at the platform, which was sponsored by MacArthur Foundation and attended by many consumers, Abdullahi stated that there were many issues in electricity consumption in Nigeria while condemning disconnection of consumers’ lines without notice, outrageous/crazy bills, non-supply of paid-for meters and disregard for regulations, among other complaints by electricity consumers in the country.
He also added that “The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), an independent regulatory body, has the authority to regulate the electric power industry in the country, while FCCPC is to protect consumers Rights throughout Nigeria.
“Electricity consumers in Nigeria have the right oversee and ensure that properly-installed functional meters are made available to the Consumers, and that Payment for meters shall not be made if meters are not available. The Meter Asset Provider (MAP) should be able to install the meters at the premises of the customers within ten working days of payment, He said.
going further, he maintained that, “Unmetered customers shall not experience any cost increase, beyond what is chargeable to metered customers in the same area. Customers have the right to contest bills and withhold payment of disputed bills.”
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Mrs. Funke Osibodu, in her goodwill message, appluaded the efforts the Commission and added that the officials of the company are trying their best to make their customers in the franchise states of Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti happy, thereby quickly resolving issues.
Osibodu, who was represented by BEDC’s Chief State Head for Edo, Mr. Abel Enechaziam, stated that she was aware of limited power supply and inadequate metering, which he said should not be blamed on the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos), stressing that BEDC was always ready to listen to the consumers’ complaints, with quick actions being taken.
BEDC’s managing director also stressed that there was inadequate supply of meters by NERC while pointing out that DisCos across Nigeria were facing challenges from the generation and transmission of power, which she expressed optimism that NERC would soon be able to resolve.
A top official of the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), Mr. Akinbadejo Akinleye, while also speaking, noted that the agency’s officers were always striving to ensure the maintenance of quality in electricity management in the country.
One of the displeased consumers of BEDC, Daniel Ikhanaede, lamented having about four days of electricity supply in a month, in a small residential apartment in Benin, only to receive outrageous bill of over N200,000.
Peter Asekhaino, a lawyer, who is the Legal Adviser to Hotel Proprietors Association of Nigeria, Edo State chapter, revealed that he earlier wrote over forty complaint letters, on behalf of his clients, to BEDC’s head office in Benin, without response, while tendering photocopies of the unreplied letters, particularly on overbilling, wondering why a hotel’s monthly bill would suddenly jump from N900,000 to over N6 million.
Speaking further, an aggrieved elderly customer, Pa Vincent Igbinosu, lamented the irregular supply of electricity to his house in the Edo State capital, while monthly receiving crazy bills, which he said should be looked into.
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