Nigeria’s Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has threatened to sue electricity firms in the country, should they keep over-charging their customers through estimated bills, even without supplying adequate electricity to them.
The council specifically issued a strong warning to the Abuja Distribution Company to desist from arbitrary charges to their customers or face sanctions. It also said that henceforth, any reported disconnection of customers’ electricity lines without prior notifications would be treated as an act of sabotage.
Babatunde Irukera, the Director-General of the council stated this while speaking during a town hall meeting in Abuja aimed at addressing the issues hindering effective power distribution to customers. He told participants at the event (including representatives of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission) that the agency would no longer stand aside and do nothing while Nigerians are extorted by power distribution companies.
Though he acknowledged the problems bedeviling the power sector, there was no justification for ineptitude and inefficient service delivery to customers.
We Nigerians have lived for a long time with poor supply of electricity; we are dissatisfied with this; it is more on what happens in the distribution components. People complain more about illegal bills, they complain more when they are disconnected if their neighbours fail to pay their bills.
So, if you discourage people who pay bills because of some who refused to pay, you are giving them a very bad service. This must stop.
He also warned customers to desist from electricity theft and vandalism of electricity facilities in the country, as the government was closely monitoring activities in the sector and would soon start arresting those caught in the acts of theft or vandalism of electricity facilities.
About the Consumer Protection Council
The CPC is a government parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment. It was established in 1992 by an Act, but became operational in 1999 after its institutional framework was finally put in place.
Some of its key functions include ensuring speedy redress to complaints, getting rid of harmful products from the market, and campaigning to ensure consumers’ improved awareness of their rights.