Tariff hike: AEDC defies NERC directive, fails to refund wrongly billed customers

Emerging reports suggest that the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, has failed to refund all customers who were wrongly billed amid the recent tariff hike.

Recall that the distribution company had implemented the hike across all consumers instead of just Band A that it was originally meant for.

But following complaints by residents, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission slammed AEDC with a N200 million fine for misapplying the approved tariff order and the disco apologised.

In addition to the fine, NERC sent a notice to AEDC ordering a refund to affected customers on or before April 11. But according to Daily Post, several consumers complained that the company has yet to issue an energy token refund despite the deadline passing.

One Ezekiel Umanah, a resident of Dutse, said; “AEDC is yet to refund me. As a Band B customer, I bought 50,000 electricity units for 206 kilo-watt-hours instead of over 500.

“I am sure several other customers are facing a similar fate at the hands of AEDC. It is terrible if the government and regulatory Commission allow this to go unpunished”.

Also, Loveth Idugu with Meter No 45701255536), said; “On April 4, I bought 82.7kwh tariff for N20,000 instead of 200kwh I used to buy as a Band B customer.

“I am confused about how to get my refund from AEDC. I wonder why NERC issued a directive without Disco’s compliance. This is not fair for electricity customers within AEDC’s franchise”.

Speaking on the matter, Commissioner of Legal, Licensing & Compliance at NERC, Barr Dafe Akpeneye, said cases of customers who were wrongly billed by AEDC and have yet to get a refund should be forwarded to the Commission for necessary action.

President of the Nigerian Consumer Protection Network, Kunle Olubiyo, confirmed that some electricity customers wrongly billed by AEDC were yet to be refunded.

Olubiyo lamented that electricity supply has become a sole commodity for the rich in Nigeria since the new tariff hike.

He said; “The infraction on wrongly billing of customers across is from all Discos. There are still customers yet to be refunded, but some confirmed they received a refund.

“Outside the energy token refund issue, since the tariff hike for band A customers, band B customers are supposed to get 16 hours of power supply, but they hardly get 4 hours.

“We are not talking of Band C, D, and E customers who hardly get an electricity supply. What the hike has done is that the electricity is now for the rich, while the p00r remain in perpetual darkness”.