Ibadan Disco receives N21.2m fine over neglect of complaints

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Following its failure to implement the decisions of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (NERC) forum office to treat electricity customer complaints referred to by the commission, the Ibadan Electricity Distribution company has been fined N21.2 million.

NERC, in its Directive 156 stated that, “Following the failure of the IBEDC to comply with the request and directive, the commission issued a notice to commence enforcement to the IBEDC on June 9, 2016, to show cause within 10 days why enforcement action should not be taken against it,” adding that this was on four grounds of misdemeanour.

The regulatory agency said the company was found to have violated all the four grounds by not complying with most of the NERC forum decisions in respect of the installation of electricity transformers and energising communities.

According to NERC statement, the excuse, which the IBEDC gave for not complying with the directive of the forum office, was the unavailability of funds and the capital intensive nature of such projects.

“The IBEDC also failed to comply with the timeline within which to implement the directives of the NERC forum as well as the reporting compliance obligation as stipulated in the Customer Complaints Handling Standards and Procedures (CCHSP) Regulation 2006,” the commission stated.

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The regulator added that all sanctions again the Disco would start counting from February 23, 2015 when the first directive was given by the NERC forum office until August 5, 2016, when its Directive 156 was signed by the acting Chairman of the commission, Dr. Anthony Akah, and General Manager, Legal, Licensing and Enforcement, Mrs. Olufunke Dinneh.

It added that the total fine of N21.2m must be paid within two weeks starting from August 5, 2016, after which the fine would attract five per cent interest daily until it was paid.

Furthermore, NERC, in its Directive 156, stated, “The fines imposed notwithstanding, the IBEDC shall comply with all the directives of the NERC forum and shall communicate to the commission its electricity transformer implementation roll out plan and the date of the commencement within two weeks from August 5, 2016.”

The forum office is the second level in the commission’s redress mechanism where complaints from electricity consumers that are not resolved at the customer care unit of the electricity distribution companies are referred for settlement.