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NERC Fines AEDC N200 Million for Overcharging Customers

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has levied a N200 million fine on the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) for unlawfully raising electricity tariffs for non-Band A customers, just two days after the tariff hike was implemented.

As earlier reported, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, on Wednesday, approved an increase in electricity tariff for Band A electricity consumers in the country. This involved consumers that utilise at least 20 hours of electricity supply daily. Vice Chair Musliu Oseni had announced this adjustment during a press conference in Abuja. He stated that the increase will demand the customers to pay N225 kilowatt per hour from the current N66.

Following the adjustment, reports emerged from AEDC customers outside Band A. These customers complained about unwarranted increases in their electricity bills despite not meeting the criteria for the new tariff rate. In response to these grievances, NERC took decisive action against AEDC for disregarding the prescribed tariff classifications.

According to NERC’s directive, only customers classified under Band A were intended to be subjected to the tariff increase. However, AEDC’s application of the new tariff to all customer bands was deemed a clear violation of regulatory guidelines.

The regulatory agency instructed AEDC to rectify the billing discrepancies and promptly refund affected customers in Bands B, C, D, and E. Additionally, the distribution company was mandated to pay a hefty fine of ₦200 million as a penalty for non-compliance.

The statement read:

“This decision follows a detailed review and customer feedback, which revealed that AEDC had applied the new tariff to all customer bands, contrary to the order, which was designed to ensure fair billing practices

“AEDC is therefore mandated to: a. reimburse all customers in Bands B, C, D, and E, respectively, that were billed above the allowed customer categories/tariff bands provided in the order. b. Reimburse through the provision of the balance of customer tokens that the affected customers would be entitled to receive at the applicable rates, and all token reimbursements shall be issued to the affected customers by 11 April 2024

“c. pay the sum of ₦200,000,000.00 (Two Hundred Million Naira) as a fine for the flagrant breach of the Commission’s Order. d. File evidence of compliance with the directives in a & c with the Commission by 12 April 2024”.

NERC further urged customers to report any instances of unfair billing practices, assuring them of swift action against erring distribution companies.

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