In a move to curb arbitrary billing practices, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has thrown its weight behind the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for imposing sanctions on 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).
NERC’s punitive measures, including a hefty fine of N10.5 billion, were aimed at addressing the persistent issue of unmetered customers being unfairly billed and non-compliance with the capping of estimated bills.
Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, the Acting Executive Vice Chairman of FCCPC, voiced the commission’s support for NERC’s actions in a statement released in Abuja on Monday. He underscored the necessity of stronger measures to deter future violations, such as increased financial penalties, stricter enforcement mechanisms, or even the revocation of operating licenses for repeat offenders.
Abdullahi stressed that such decisive action is in line with the FCCPC’s mandate to protect consumers from exploitative practices and demand redress for grievances.
“We stand in solidarity with NERC in its commitment to safeguard unmetered customers from arbitrary billing by DisCos,” stated Abdullahi. “The capping regulation was a significant step towards ensuring fairer treatment for those without meters, and the FCCPC fully supports its enforcement.”
Abdullahi reiterated the FCCPC’s unwavering commitment to securing a fair deal for electricity consumers in Nigeria.
He highlighted the importance of ongoing consumer platforms organized by the commission nationwide, providing an avenue for consumers to voice their complaints and receive prompt redress from DisCos and regulators, including the FCCPC.
“The FCCPC reiterates its unwavering commitment to ensuring a better deal for electricity consumers in Nigeria,” Abdullahi affirmed. “Apart from its routine resolution of electricity consumer complaints, the commission will continue to organize electricity consumer platforms across the country.”
Acknowledging the systemic challenges facing the electricity sector, including metering gaps and billing malpractices, Abdullahi called for fundamental reforms. He encouraged consumers who have experienced estimated billing discrepancies to file complaints with their DisCos and escalate unresolved issues to NERC or the FCCPC for investigation and redress.
“We are committed to investigating all legitimate complaints and securing redress for consumers,” Abdullahi concluded.