Home Business FCCPC Backs N10.5bn Fine on DisCos over Billing of Unmetered Customers
BusinessNews

FCCPC Backs N10.5bn Fine on DisCos over Billing of Unmetered Customers

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has urged stronger sanctions against 11 electricity distribution companies (DisCos) for failing to comply with the capping of estimated bills for customers without meters.

In a statement by Adamu Abdullahi, the Executive Vice Chairman of FCCPC, the commission expressed support for the N10.5 billion fine imposed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on the DisCos on February 8, 2024. Abdullahi commended NERC’s actions, stating,

“The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission commends 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 customers.”

“Non-compliance with the capping of estimated bills for unmetered customers” refers to the failure of these electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to adhere to regulations or guidelines that restrict the maximum amount they can charge customers who do not have electricity meters installed. In this context, “capping” implies setting a limit or maximum amount for estimated bills issued to customers without meters.

When customers do not have meters, utility providers often estimate their electricity consumption and bill them accordingly. Regulatory authorities like NERC may implement rules that cap the amount these estimates can reach to protect consumers from arbitrary or excessively high billing.

The DisCos’ failure to adhere to these directions potentially leads to inflated bills for customers without meters. Highlighting FCCPC’s role outlined in the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) 2018, Abdullahi emphasised the commission’s commitment to protecting consumers from unfair practices.

“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,” he said.

He called for stricter penalties to prevent future violations and suggested increased financial penalties, enhanced enforcement mechanisms, and even license revocation for persistent offenders. This is because NERC has previously warned these electricity distribution companies to refund unmetered customers who were being overbilled.

Abdullahi revealed that the FCCPC’s existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NERC aims to enhance consumer protection through information sharing, joint investigations, and coordinated enforcement actions.

He emphasised the need for fundamental reforms in the electricity sector to address metering gaps, billing malpractices, and inadequate customer service. Abdullahi pledged continuous collaboration with NERC to ensure fair treatment, accurate billing, and quality service for Nigerian electricity consumers.

 

 

 

About The Author

Related Articles

NewsSecurity

Humanitarians Abducted 100 Days Ago in Cameroon, Freed in Maiduguri

Three Cameroonian humanitarian workers affiliated with a French NGO, who were abducted...

NewsWorld

UAE’s Heavy Rainfall: Four Dead, Dubai Airport Affected

Recent heavy rains in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have claimed the...

Zamfara ban officials, others from granting media interviews without state approval
News

Zamfara ban officials, others from granting media interviews without state approval

Zamfara State government has issued a directive that all state officials, including...

HealthNewsWorld

UN Warns of Rising Drug Trafficking in West Africa’s Sahel Region

The Sahel region in West Africa is fast becoming a central hub...