• Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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New tariff: NERC fines Abuja DisCo ₦200m for tariff order violation

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has slapped Abuja Electricity Distribution Plc (AEDC) with a fine of ₦200 million for failing to adhere to its tariff guidelines, creating a stir among consumers and industry stakeholders alike.

The fine comes in the wake of the Supplementary Order to the Multi-Year Tariff Order for 2024, issued on April 3, 2024, which AEDC has been found in violation of.

In a detailed correspondence released by NERC and seen by BusinessDay, it was revealed that AEDC improperly applied an approved tariff increase across all customer bands, contrary to the specific directive that only customers in Band A were subject to the rate hike.

Read also: New tariff: AEDC to refund excess charges to ‘downgraded’ Band A customers

The oversight has not only led to undue charges for customers in Bands B to E but has also called into question the operational compliance and fairness standards maintained by one of the country’s leading electricity distribution companies.

The regulatory body’s supplementary order had initially set out to adjust tariffs that would not unduly burden the vast majority of electricity consumers, particularly those not in Band A.

However, AEDC’s misapplication of the new tariffs has breached the trust of its consumer base and contradicted the principles of transparency and equity that form the cornerstone of Nigeria’s electricity regulatory framework.

Read also: Power Minister talks tough, summons AEDC, IBEDC, TCN, over poor electricity supply

As part of its remedial directives, NERC has mandated AEDC to reimburse all affected customers in Bands B, C, D, and E by providing balance tokens reflective of the rates they should have been charged. This remedial action is expected to be complied with immediately, providing relief to thousands of wrongfully overcharged consumers.

In addition, NERC’s directive requires AEDC to present evidence of compliance with these corrective measures by April 12, 2024, emphasising the urgency with which the regulatory body seeks to address and rectify the oversight.

“Failure to meet these requirements could lead to further regulatory actions, underscoring the seriousness with which NERC is approaching this breach of regulatory compliance,” the Commission said.

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