The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has called for stricter sanctions against the 11 electricity distribution companies (DisCos) for non-compliance with the capping of estimated bills for unmetered customers.
This was stated in a statement released by Adamu Abdullahi, executive vice chairman/ chief executive officer of FCCPC.
On February 8, 2024, NERC sanctioned the 11 electricity distribution companies (DisCos) in the country with an N10.5 billion fine over non-compliance with the capping of estimated bills for unmetered customers.
The FCCPC expressed support for NERC’s recent actions against the DisCos.
Abdullahi said, “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.”
He also said decisive measure aligns with its mandate outlined in the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) 2018, particularly Section 17 (s), which empowers the Commission to protect consumers from obnoxious practices or unscrupulous exploitation by companies, firms, trade associations or individuals, and to demand redress on their behalf.
“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 metres, and the FCCPC fully supports its enforcement,” he said.
Abdullahi went on to call for stricter penalties to ensure that there are no future violations.
He said, “Furthermore, we urge NERC to consider even stronger measures to deter future violations. This could include increased financial penalties, stricter enforcement mechanisms, and even the revocation of operating licences for persistent offenders.”
Abdullahi also said the FCCPC’s existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NERC aims to ensure more effective protection for electricity consumers through information sharing, joint investigations, and coordinated enforcement actions.
He said, “The Commission believes that fundamental reforms are necessary to address the systemic challenges facing the sector, including metering gaps, billing malpractices, and inadequate customer service.”
“The FCCPC will persistently collaborate with NERC to work tirelessly to ensure Nigerian electricity consumers receive fair treatment, accurate billing, and quality service. We stand united in ensuring a fair and just electricity market for all consumers in Nigeria,” He added.