The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) on Wednesday met with electricity consumers in Edo with a view to addressing complaints about electricity distribution in the state.
The head of the commission, Babatunde Irukera, gave the assurance at the commencement of a four-day electricity consumer complaint resolution platform in Benin.
He said the platform was being organised by FCCPC in conjunction with the MacArthur Foundation.
Mr Irukera, represented by Abdullahi, the FCCPC’s commissioner in charge of operations, said the commission had been going round the country to listen to consumers’ complaints.
“We know there are issues because the FCCPC has been receiving your complaints.
“I will say electricity is among our major complaint issues that we have received so far in the commission.
“So that is the essence of the forum. We are here today to discuss issues of BEDC and you, consumers of electricity.
“Issues of poor customer service, disconnection without notice, outrageous and arbitrary billing, non-metering of customers, payment made for meters without supply.
“Other issues we know include prevention of customer vending as a result of disputed bills, undersupply of service in respect of service band allocation, mass disconnection as well as a general disregard for regulations,” he said.
He said electricity distribution had its own regulator, which is the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), but added that the FCCPC works with all other regulators.
According to him, FCCPC is the apex regulator that deals with competition and operations in the country.
“So we have to once again draw the attention of the BEDC, National Electricity Management Service Agency (NEMSA) as well as the NERC to the complaints from Edo electricity consumers.
“This is to let them know that every complaint by consumers in Edo, as well as those brought here today and the consecutive days that we are going to be here, must be treated and completely resolved.
“We will also give a timeline that would be adhered strictly to and any disregard to this would be viewed seriously by the FCCPC,” he said.
In his remarks, the head of Edo BEDC, Abel Enechaziam, said that lots of things were being done by the company to ensure that customers were happy.
Mr Enechaziam said the BEDC would try as much as possible to resolve the complaints by electricity consumers in the four franchise states of the company.
He disclosed that this year alone the company had received more than 459,000 customer complaints, while it had similarly attended to more than 455,000 of the cases.
“BEDC has a robust system put in place to attend to customers’ complaints, and we are ready to attend to your complaints,” he said.
He also said that the company currently had lots of network expansion going on, and gave assurance that it would ensure that customers were well taken care of.
Newsmen reported that most of the consumers at the forum sought to know whose responsibility it is to replace a faulty transformer between BEDC and consumers, while some others complained about outrageous estimated billings.