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It’s Not Electricity Consumers’ Job to Buy Transformers, Others—FCCPC

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has declared that it is not the responsibility of electricity consumers/customers or communities to buy, replace or repair transformers, poles, cables and related items used in supplying power.

This was made known by the Commissioner, Operations of the commission, Mr Adamu Abdullahi, at the opening of the commission’s four-day electricity consumers complaints’ resolution platform, which was sponsored by MacArthur Foundation and attended by many consumers in Benin-city, Edo.

Mr Abdullahi said there were many issues in electricity consumption in Nigeria and frowned at the disconnection of consumers’ lines without notice, outrageous/crazy bills, non-supply of pre-paid meters already paid for, and the disregard for regulations, among other complaints by electricity consumers in the country.

He explained that while the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), an independent regulatory body, has the authority to regulate the electric power industry in the country, FCCPC is to protect consumers throughout Nigeria.

According to him, “Electricity consumers in Nigeria have the right to be properly installed with functional meters. Payment for meters shall not be made if meters are not available. The Meter Asset Provider (MAP) shall install the meters at the premises of the customers within 10 working days of payment.

“Unmetered customers shall not experience any cost increase, beyond what is chargeable to metered customers in the same area. Customers have the right to contest bills and withhold payment of disputed bills.”

On her part, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Mrs Funke Osibodu, insisted that officials of the company were trying their best to make their customers in the franchise states of Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti happy by quickly resolving issues.

Mrs Osibodu, who was represented by the company’s Chief State Head for Edo, Mr Abel Enechaziam, stated that she was aware of limited power supply and inadequate metering, which she said should not be blamed on the electricity Distribution Companies (Discos), stressing that BEDC was always ready to listen to the consumers’ complaints with quick actions being taken.

Mrs Osibodu also stressed that there was an inadequate supply of meters by NERC, pointing out that Discos across Nigeria were facing challenges from the generation and transmission of power, but expressed optimism that NERC would soon be able to resolve those hiccups.

Also speaking, a top official of the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), Mr Akinbadejo Akinleye, while speaking, noted that the agency’s officers were always striving to ensure the maintenance of quality in electricity management in the country.

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