Walter Ukaegbu, Abuja
The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has warned the management and staff of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to henceforth, desist from collecting illegal bill and charges from their customers or face severe sanctions and prosecution.
The commission equally said that any reported case of unlawful disconnection of customer’s electricity will be treated as a case of sabotage.
Electricity consumers across the country have consistently complained of illegal extortion of monies by staff of NERC through over billings and outright illegal disconnections of light with unsubstantiated claims. This has continued to make life unbearable for electricity consumers, a situation the CPC has said must change. The Director General, CPC, Babatunde Irukera, gave the warning at the weekend in his address to the town hall meeting, which brought together, CPC, NERC, Nigeria Electricity Management Service (NEMS), the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company and electricity consumers in Bwari, Abuja.
Irukera said, “we Nigerians have lived 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 refuse to pay, you are giving them a very bad service; this must stop.”
He explained that it is unfortunate that in Nigeria, the most vulnerable are the poor people who desire to also enjoy electricity in their homes, noting that, “in other climes, you cannot disconnect power because some people are owing you, especially in USA, France and other developed countries.”