The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has penalised four power distribution companies as a result of their failure to treat various customer complaints levelled against them as well as their inability to submit statutory quarterly reports.

NERC said the firms breached their licensing terms and the provisions of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 and its regulations.

The affected firms are the Ikeja, Ibadan, Enugu and Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Companies and they are to pay a total of N24.56m as fine.

The commission, in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, said it had ordered the affected companies to pay the fines within two weeks from July 25, 2016.

The NERC directives were signed by its acting Chairman, Dr. Anthony Akah; and the General Manager, Legal, Licensing and Enforcement, Mrs. Olufunke Dinneh.

After the deadline, it said the fine would attract five per cent as daily interest until remedial steps were taken.

The commission said two of the errant companies, Port Harcourt and Enugu Discos, were sanctioned for their failure to submit quarterly reports of their key performance indicators; whereas Ibadan and Ikeja Discos were fined for their failure to attend to customers’ complaints.

It said the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company flouted the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005, its licensing terms and conditions as well as the NERC Customer Complaints Handling: Standards and Procedures Regulation, 2006.

The IBEDC was fined N10,000 on each of the three grounds of misdemeanour, beginning from April 22, 2016 up until July 25, 2016, for a total of N2,850,000.

Similarly, the regulator stated that the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company was found guilty on three grounds of violating its licensing terms and conditions, the EPSR Act 2005 and the CCHSP that compelled it to obey all the directives of the commission, treat customers complaints within a stipulated time as well as oblige the regulator any information sought from the company.

It, therefore, fined the firm N10,000 per day on each of the three grounds of misdemeanour beginning from April 22, 2016 up until July 25, 2016.

“Failure to pay the fines within the stipulated time shall attract additional interest of five per cent per day until the total fine is paid,” it stated.

NERC said Enugu and Port Harcourt electricity distribution companies were found liable for their failure to submit quarterly reports of their key performance indicators contrary to the terms and conditions of their licences under Section 63 (1) of the EPSR Act, 2005.

“By failing to submit third quarter report in 2015, the commission hereby fines the PHEDC N10,000 per day from July 15, 2015 to July 25, 2016, giving a total of N3,760,000. By failing to submit the fourth quarter report in 2015, the commission fines the PHEDC N10,000 per day from October 15, 2015 to July 25, 2016, giving a total N2,840,000. By failing to submit the first quarter report in 2016, the commission fines the PHEDC N10,000 per day from January N10,000 per day, giving a total N1,920,000,” it stated.

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