April 17, 2024

Discos Overbill Customers By N105Billion, Face NERC sanction

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By EDITOR

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), on Friday, 9th February 2024 disclosed that it would deduct N10,505,286,072 from the annual allowed revenues of the 11 power distribution companies during the next tariff review as part of sanctions over their non-compliance with the capping of estimated bills for unmetered customers.

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NERC revealed this in a notice obtained in Abuja, stressing that the billing of unmetered customers in their various franchise areas for 2023 revealed non-compliance with the monthly energy caps issued by the commission.

The commission explained that the Discos would pay about 10 per cent of the amount they over-billed their customers between January and September 2023.

In separate orders to the Discos, it was established that the power firms over-billed their customers to the tune of about N105bn in nine months.

Abuja Disco, for instance, overbilled its customers without meters to the tune of N17.874bn, while Eko Disco over-billed its unmetered customers by N13.137bn.

Port Harcourt Disco overbilled its customers without meters by N14.187bn, as Kaduna Disco overbilling its customers by N1.145bn.

The regulator ordered the Discos to refund the cheated customers in full and to ensure compliance in the future, stressing that to deter future occurrence, a 10 per cent fine had been imposed on the utilities.

“Benin (-47.85 per cent), Jos (-26.21 per cent) and Ikeja (-1.84 per cent) Discos recorded decreases in the number of customer complaints received compared to 2023/Q2.

“Conversely, eight Discos recorded increases in the number of customer complaints with significant increases being recorded by Yola (+43.28 percent), Kano (+17.46 per cent) and Port Harcourt (+16.05 per cent).”

On the type of complaints, the report stated that “the most frequently reported issues among the 333,947 complaints received by Discos in 2023/Q3 were metering (57.31 per cent), billing (12.88 per cent), and service interruption (8.07 per cent).

“These three complaints categories cumulatively accounted for over 78 percent of the total complaints in the quarter. Out of the 333,947 complaints received in 2023/Q3, 317,179 were resolved, translating to a resolution rate of 94.98 percent.”

Meanwhile, the commission, on Friday, reaffirmed its commitment to regulatory compliance and consumer protection within the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.

Source: punchng

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