FCCPC Tells Electricity Consumers to Follow Procedures in Lodging Complaints

The Acting Executive Vice Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Dr. Adamu Ahmed Abdullahi, has advised electricity consumers to always follow official procedures by bringing their complaints through their respective DISCOs before escalating them to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the FCCPC.

Abdullahi gave this advice on Saturday in Lagos at the “Electricity Consumer Complaint Resolution Platform,” which was dubbed a one-stop shop for addressing the billing, metering, transformer, connection, disconnection, consumer service and other electricity consumer issues in Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) coverage areas.

He said: “The consumers should have confidence in their service providers (DISCOs) and feel free to complain to them first because that is what the law says.

“Without complaining to your service provider you should not escalate the matter to a sector regulator like NERC or even to the FCCPC.

“We keep appealing to consumers not to take the laws into their own hands but to ensure that they lodge their complaints in the right manner,” adding that they should be “courteous when they lodge their complaints as opposed to being chaotic or trying to show that they can use force.”

He also advised the DISCOs to be forthcoming whenever a customer approaches them with issues because it is their primary responsibility to provide customers’ services to electricity consumers in Nigeria.

“This not FCCPC’s core competence area. It is the DISCOs that have these customers and provide services to them. So, it is them that have the primary responsibility of offering customer services to their consumers and addressing and resolving these complaints on their own.”

Abdullahi described the platform, which the FCCPC has taken several states in the country in collaboration with the Mac Arthur Foundation, as an intervention programme to bring all the stakeholders together to listen to electricity consumers’ complaints and resolve them.

He assured the consumers that any of their complaints that were not addressed during the four-day programme would be resolved within a given time frame.

“We will get commitment from the DISCOs on a time frame within which these complaints would be resolved because it is their core responsibility and not ours.

“But where it is not resolved within the time frame, the complainants are free to get back to us so that we get across to the service provider or the regulator to have them resolved.  

“Sometimes the DISCOs are not forthcoming. That is why complaints are brought up to the NERC and then to FCCPC, which is the last resort apart from the court.  

“Our determination is to resolve all these problems within the period we are in a DISCO’s area. When we could not, we give a timeline to the DISCO to dispose the complaints. If they fail you are free to report to our Lagos office,” he said.

The Head, Governance and Regulatory, IKEDC, Ms. Jolaoluwa Adewale, commended customers for their patience and cooperation and the FCCPC for arranging the forum that brought us closer to our customers.

She said: “We have noted your complaints and feedback and will continue to work hard to resolve them.  We will continue to be fair to our customers and also align and corporate with the laws of the land.

“One of things I will like to encourage our customers is collaboration with us when it comes to energy theft that is becoming more and more rampant in our society by ensuring that those in your communities that steal energy are held accountable.”

The NERC Ikeja Forum Officer, Chukwunonso Okwuosah, urged electricity consumers to come with an open mind and to “understand that IKEDC will act as guided by the regulation.”

An electricity consumer, Anthony Chukwemeka Iteghete, expressed satisfaction that the forum has enabled consumers to ask their service provider salient questions.

He said: “I am here because I paid for meter since August 2023 and have not received it. I sleep without light. I want you to address this because IKEDC said that they have no meter. But they are having my money.