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Electricity Customers Receive N31.5m Credit Refunds in 21 months

Story by Michael Faloseyi & Vivian Mbonu
Electricity consumers have in the last 21 months been refunded N31, 507, 563. 54 as credit adjustments in accordance with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s customer complaint redress mechanism.
Credit adjustment is made to electricity consumers’ bill when a service provider, after investigation, discovered that a consumer has paid for services not rendered, and or when a customer has proofed incidence of economic loss beyond reasonable doubt.
Credit adjustment could be approved at the customer care unit of electricity distribution companies; through the Forum Office, who must have given parties fair hearing through a complaint hearing. It may also be awarded as a form of fine at case hearing by the Commission.
The sum of N5, 614, 966. 21 refund were made within the last three quarters of 2017 while the balance of N25, 892, 597.39 (Twenty Five Million, Eight Hundred and Ninety Two Thousand, Five Hundred and Ninety Seven Naira Thirty Nine Kobo) credit adjustments were made in 2016.
Some of the refunds were made by the electricity distribution companies at the instance of the Commission to electricity consumers who had complained over issues bordering on quality of service, over billing and other related metering issues, while some others refund were at the customer care units of electricity distribution companies which is the first level in the customer complaint redress mechanism.
Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company made the most refund of N1, 465, 491. 67 between January and September 2017. This is followed by Abuja Electricity Distribution Company that refunded N1, 464, 111. 13. However, Eko Electricity Distribution Company made N1, 191, 134. 18 while Enugu made N879, 472. 70 during the period under review.
Abuja Electricity Distribution Company made credit refund of N691, 044. 38 followed by N145, 118. 81 credit refund by Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company while Benin Electricity Distribution Company made the least refund of N94, 170. 23 during the period under review.
A breakdown of the credit refund made in 2017 indicate that Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company made the most refund of N12, 879, 584.66, whereas Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company made the least refund of N15, 119. 50.
Meanwhile, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company refunded N6, 692, 012. 18; Enugu Electricity Distribution Company refunded N876, 134. 12; Ikeja Electricity Distribution company refunded N2, 230, 948. 19 and Yola Electricity Distribution Company refunded N3, 198,798. 74 to their respective customers.
Complaint redress mechanism in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) recommends the customer care unit of electricity services providers as the first point of call for aggrieved electricity customer. Complaint not satisfactorily treated could be taken to the Forum Office which is composed of members of the society.
Electricity customers as well as the service providers could petition the Commission if they are not satisfied with Forum Office ruling or handling of their complaint. Aggrieved parties may also wish to seek judicial means if the redress mechanism could not resolve their case.