Electricity Supply Disconnection Without a 10-Day Notice Is Illegal – FG
According to the FG, it is now prohibited to disconnect a customer’s energy supply without giving them a 10-day warning.
The widespread disconnection of communities owing to debt is terrible and an infringement on people’s rights, in addition to being illegal.
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) asserts that it is illegal to cut off a customer’s access to a power source without giving them 10 days’ notice beginning on the day the bill is sent.
Babatunde Irukera, executive vice-chairman of the FCCPC, revealed this on Wednesday in Calabar during a forum for settling complaints from energy users.
Mr. Irukera lamented the terrible service the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) offered to Calabar and the surrounding areas.
He claimed that according to a commission probe, PHEDC has struggled to give its customers services that were reasonable in comparison to their rates.
The services provided by PHEDC to Cross River locals were deemed “oppressive” by Mr. Irukera.
He continued by saying that among the reports the commission had received on a number of topics was the company’s illegal mass disconnection.
“I want to let you know how incredibly angry the residents of Cross River are. According to them, especially the governor, if they have their way, they will prefer that PHEDC does not operate in the state,” said the FCCPC boss. “I don’t think your business will survive if this is how you feel about it,”
“The widespread separation of communities due to debt is not only unlawful, it is outrageous and an infringement on people’s rights,” he continued. It is harsh to disconnect the whole community.
Mr. Irukera claims that certain members of the neighborhood consistently pay their fees.
“So, it is unjust and unfair to disconnect them.
Any business that cannot satisfy its consumers is preparing to die. Allowing consumers to pay tariffs without commensurate electricity supply is against the law,” he further explained. “The problem of compelling consumers to pay electricity bills is tantamount to oppressing and extorting money illegally from consumers. The internal mechanism for assessing scorecards of electricity companies is not by a collection of tariffs. Rather it is customer satisfaction that matters.”
Mr Irukera also mentioned that DisCos disconnecting the power supply for days and still giving bills covering that same period was “exploitative.” He explained that it was illegal for consumers to buy transformers, and they would later become the property of PHEDC.