The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)  last week penalised the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) for not following orders from the Commission’s Forum Office  on electricity customers’ complaints.

The Forum Office is the second level in the NERC’s complaints resolution mechanism, where electricity customers’ complaints referred for settlement are resolved if they can not be handled at the customer care unit of the electricity distribution companies EDCs.

Directive 156 of the Commission reads: “Following the failure of IBEDC to comply with the request and directive, the Commission issued a notice to commence enforcement to the IBEDC, on June 9, 2016 to show cause within ten days, why enforcement action should not be taken against it,” on four grounds of mis

According to NERC’s directives, the four grounds of violation include Section 63 (1) of the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) 2005 and condition 50 of the Electricity Distribution Licence Terms and Conditions, both stipulate that a licensee should obey every directive of the Commission.

Others include Condition 4 of the Distribution Licence Terms and Conditions and Section 11 (6) of NERC Customer Complaints Handling: Standard and Procedure Regulations (CCSHP) 2006.

The sections both require a licensee to supply information requested of it by the Regulator as well as to implement decisions of the Forum on electricity customer issues “within the time specified in the directives of the Forum”.

NERC said the IBEDC was found to have violated all these four grounds “by not complying with most of the NERC Forum decisions in respect of installations of electricity transformers and energising communities; The Regulatory body claimed unavailability of funds and capital intensive nature of such projects as some of the reasons for non-compliance”

The Commission said  the IBEDC also “failed to comply with the timeline within which to implement the directives of the NERC Forum, as well as the reporting compliance obligation as stipulated in the CCHSP Regulation 2006″.

The Commission in Directives 156 explained that breach under Section 63 (1) of the EPSRC Act attracts N10,000 ($31) per day; breach under Section 11 (6) of the CCHSP attracts N10,000 per day; breach under Condition 4 of the Distribution Licence Terms and Conditions attracts N10,000 per day; and that breach under Condition 50 of the Distribution Licence Terms and Conditions attracts N10,000 per day.

All sanctions will start counting from 23 February 2015, when the first directive was given by the NERC Forum Office till 5 August 2016, when the Commission’s directive 156 was signed by the Commission’s acting chairman, Anthony Akah, and general manager for Legal, Licensing and Enforcement, Olufunke Dinneh.

The IBEDC is expected to make the payments within two weeks starting from 5 August 2016 after which the fine attracts 5% interest daily until the total fine sum is paid.

“The fines imposed notwithstanding, IBEDC shall comply with all the Directives of the NERC Forum and shall communicate to the Commission, its electricity transformer implementation roll out plan, and the date of the commencement, within two weeks from  5 August 2016,” Directive 156 stated.

 

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