A group, the All Electricity Consumers Protection Forum, on Sunday flayed electricity distribution companies (DisCos)’ refusal to implement the directive on capping of estimated bills to customers.
Its National Coordinator, Adeola Samuel-Ilori, in a statement issued in Lagos, said the companies had continued to issue exploitative bills to customers in spite of the directive by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NERC had directed the companies to limit the bills given to customers without meters, effective Feb. 20, and issued different templates, depending on their areas of the franchise.
Samuel-Ilori said that all the companies were served the order and later came out with templates on its implementation that was made available to stakeholders in the sector.
“The companies we have their templates are Ikeja Electric, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, among others.
“As it is operational, all monthly bills of each month are distributed the following month which makes implementation as directed by NERC in the month of February impossible.
“Hence, we expected that it will reflect in March bill which is to be distributed in April, “he said.
According to him, feedback from customers across the country, however, indicate that customers are still subjected to the exploitative estimated billing system.
“The feedback so far indicates that some of the companies partially implemented the order while some did not as bills received were slightly different from the calculated kilowatt per hour (kwh), and amount in their own templates prepared.
“For example, a consumer in Abule Egba with expected 135 kwh as R2S was given 257 which is about N7, 500 approximately instead of N3700 by their template kwh.
“We received from AEDC a consumer from Mpape which ought to have received a bill of N1,980 but was billed over N3,000 contrary to what their released template stipulates.
“Same to a consumer in Mowe with N14,234 as against the amount stipulated in the IBEDC template.
“We also had a similar issue with Agboju FESTAC consumer with the same scenario under EKEDC,” Samuel-Ilori said.
He said the group had alerted the DisCos concerned, the Ministry of Power as well as the Gov. Nasir el-Rufai’s Power Sector Reform Committee on the issue.
Samuel-Ilori said the group had also resolved to take further action against the DisCos after the easing of the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said some of the planned actions included organizing a peaceful protest against the DisCos and seeking redress in court through an order of mandamus.
Samuel-Ilori, however, advised customers not to make payments for any estimated bill that was not in tandem with the released template of capping as directed by NERC.