FCCPC Backs NERC’s N10.5bn Fine on Ikeja Electric, Others
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has thrown its weight behind the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for sanctioning 11 electricity distribution companies in the country, including Ikeja Electric, and Eko Electric, with a fine of N10.5 billion over arbitrary billing of unmetered consumers.
The regulator last week slammed N10.5 billion sanction on DisCos over non-compliance with the capping of estimated bills for unmetered customers.
Reacting to the development, FCCPC, in a statement by Mr Adamu Abdullahi, Acting Executive Vice Chairman, said the move would protect consumers from obnoxious practices by companies operating in Nigeria.
“This decisive measure aligns with the FCCPC’s 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 meters, and the FCCPC fully supports its enforcement,” he stated.
Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC), Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) as well as nine others were also directed by NERC to issue credit adjustments to all overbilled unmetered customers from January to September 2023 by the March 2024 billing cycle as part of the sanction.
The apex electricity regulatory commission said a review of the DisCos billing of unmetered customers for 2023 revealed non-compliance with the monthly energy caps issued by the regulator.
“The public may recall that in 2020, the Commission issued the Order on Capping of Estimated Bills (Order No: NERC/197/2020) and subsequently issued monthly energy caps which aimed to align the estimated bills for unmetered customers with the measured consumption of metered customers on the same supply feeder. A review of the Electricity Distribution Companies (“DisCos”) billing of unmetered customers for 2023 has revealed non-compliance with the monthly energy caps issued by the commission.
“In response to this and in a bid to safeguard unmetered customers from arbitrary billing by DisCos, the Commission, under Section 34(1)(d) of the Electricity Act 2023 (“EA 2023”), has issued the Order on Non-Compliance with Capping of Estimated Bills (Order No: NERC/2024/004-014), which stipulates the following: Credit Adjustment to Customers: DisCos are to issue credit adjustments to all overbilled unmetered customers from January to September 2023 by the March 2024 billing cycle.
“Public Notice: DisCos have been directed to publish the list of credit adjustment beneficiaries in two national dailies and on their website no later than 31 March 2024.
“Regulatory Sanctions: The Commission shall deduct a sum of 10,505 286,072 from the annual allowed revenues of the eleven (11) DisCos during the next tariff review to deter future non-compliance with the energy caps approved by the Commission.
“The Commission reaffirms its commitment to regulatory compliance and consumer protection within the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry”, the statement read.