NERC fines electricity distribution firms N6.2m

Two electricity distribution companies have been fined N6.2 million over their failure to comply with the Forum Office’s rulings in respect to complaints filed by their respective customers.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)  in Directive 153, imposed a five million and ten thousand Naira (N5, 010, 000. 00) sanction on Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) for not complying with the decision of the Forum in complaints filed by Messrs Ikponmwosa Ogiesoba Barry; S. C. Ogoke and F. E. Ubuane.

Both Barry and Ubuane had filed complaints before the Benin Forum Office alleging fraudulent estimation of their electricity bills to which the Forum Office ruled in their favour.

Ogoke, in his complaint, contested the amount of fixed charge he was to pay the utility company.

However, Benin Disco, according to the commission, ignored the directives of the Forum Office in those instances and the matter was subsequently referred to it.

The Commission, in a statement issued by the Head of Press Unit, Mr, Usman Abba Arabi in Abuja, said it fined BEDC ten thousand Naira per day from April 14, 2016 to September 28, 2016 making a total of one million, six hundred and seventy thousand Naira (N1, 670, 000)  in each of the three instances bringing the fines to a grand total of five million and ten thousand Naira (N5, 010, 000)

“The above notwithstanding, BEDC shall still comply with the Forum decisions” and that the fines should be paid within two weeks from September 28, 2016 when the Directive was signed after which it attracts five per cent interests daily,” the commission said.

In a related development, the commission explained that the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) in Directive 155 was sanctioned over its failure to comply with the Port Harcourt Forum Office decision in a complaint filed by one Toba Aremu Olugbemi.

It said:”Further directive from the Forum Office was also not complied with in violation of Section 11 (6) of the NERC Customer Complaints Handling: Standards and Procedure Regulation 2006 and Section 63 (1) of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005.

“PHED was consequently fined (N10, 000. 00) Ten Thousand Naira per day from May 30, 2016 to September 28, 2016 when Directive 155 was signed. The company is expected to pay the total fine within two weeks after signing of the Directives and it subsequently attracts five per cent daily for defaulting,” it added.