By Mustapha Usman
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) on Wednesday cautioned Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) to desist from charging customers higher than the electricity they consume.
The Chief Executive of the FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera made the call on Wednesday during an Electricity Town Hall Meeting, held at Dakata area in the Kano metropolis.
According to Irukera, the fact that most of the KEDCO’s customers are unmetered, the company should not use that advantage to charge them an exorbitant bill.
He noted that electricity has continued to be a contentious issue between providers and consumers, adding that there are a number of issues which are the priority of the distribution company to address, rather than charging the customers for the services they did not render to them.
The Chief Executive also urged KEDCO to respect, sympathize and listen to its customers, noting that the consumers steal the company’s electricity due to crazy billing.
While calling on KEDCO to issue reasonable bills to customers, Mr. Irukera also called on the consumers to ensure prompt payment of their bills to avoid disconnection.
“The issue of estimated billing, slow rate of metering, rising consumer complaints, inconsistent and sometimes very limited supply of electricity are the issues always being talked about.
” The whole concept of the problems is estimated billing. That should not be the parameters to charge customers arbitrarily. If you are taking money from people for the service you didn’t provide to them, this is functional equivalent of extortion.
“Estimated billing should be reasonable and the customers should pay what is provided to them so that the dispute should be resolved,” he said
Solacebase reports that the Head, Customer Relations of KEDCO, Alhaji Abubakar Yusuf said KEDCO does not use estimated billing to issue bills anyhow to customers.
According to him, the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had provided a methodology for issuing estimated billing to unmetered customers, stressing that the firm is following the directive hundred percent.
He explained that the bill goes up when there is an increase in supply from the national grid, adding that the bill also goes down if there is a decrease in the supply from the grid.