Top Government Agency Blasts DISCOS for Disconnecting Consumers' Electricity, Gives Reasons
- The mass disconnection of electricity by distribution companies across the states of the country has been condemned
- The executive vice chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission said the FCCPC has received several reports on poor service delivery by these companies
- According to Babatunde Irukera, handing bills to consumers without providing electricity is tantamount to extortion
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The Federal Government has described as illegal, the flippant disconnection of consumers' electricity by the distribution companies across the country without prior notice to users.
Speaking at an electricity consumer complaint resolution platform in Calabar on Wednesday, the vice chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Babatunde Irukera said disconnecting a consumer from the source of power supply without a 10-day prior notice from the date of bill delivery is unacceptable.
Citing the illegalities perpetrated by the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) in Calabar and its environs, Irukera noted that the company has not done well in service delivery to the people.
The Guardian reports that while adding that PHEDC has been oppressive to electricity consumers, Irukerea bemoaned the company's inability to provide services commensurate with bills to users.
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Reports from electricity consumers against DISCOS
Irukera also warned that reports received by the commission show that mass disconnection of electricity is carried out by the PHEDC without recourse to the law.
“I want to convey to you the incredible displeasure of the people of Cross River, according to them, especially the governor, if they have their way, they will prefer that PHEDC does not operate in the state.
“If this is the view about your business, then I don’t think that business will survive.
“The massive disconnection of communities because of debt is not only illegal, it is outrageous and an abuse of the people’s rights. Disconnecting the whole community is oppressive."
Irukera cautioning the company said it is wrong as there are people in the same community who are consistent with payment of bills but are affected by the mass disconnection of electricity.
“Any business that cannot satisfy its consumers is preparing to die; allowing consumers to pay tariffs without commensurate electricity supply is against the law.
“The problem of compelling consumers to pay electricity bills is tantamount to oppressing and extorting money illegally from consumers.
“The internal mechanism for assessing scorecard of electricity companies is not by a collection of tariffs, rather it is customer satisfaction that matters.”
In addition, he warned that leaving consumers with disconnected electricity and still handing out bills to them is exploitative.
The FCPC vice chairman explained that it was illegal for consumers to buy transformers that would later become the property of PHEDC.
Jos DISCO urges electricity consumers to embrace map meters in Otukpo, decries molestation of staff
Nigerians had earlier been urged to desist from attacking staff of electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) in their areas.
The call was made by the leadership of Jos Electricity Distribution during a consultative forum in Otukpo, Benue state.
JEDC also urged residents and consumers of electricity to ensure that their facilities are metered in line with government policy on the metering process.
Despite unreliable power supply, the Nigerian govt says exporting electricity to Benin, Niger strategic
Nigeria has continued to sell electricity to neighbouring countries despite many Nigerian homes not having access to power.
Recently, Nigeria's electricity generation collapsed to 3,876MW, its lowest level in months and has remained below 5,000mw when the country needs over 28,000mw.
According to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Nigeria has a total of 8, 310,408 registered active electricity customers.