The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, has reacted to consumer complaints under the Ikeja Electricity Distribution’s franchise of inability to purchase units amid concerns of a purported tariff hike.
Babatunde Irukera, the Executive Vice-Chairman of FCCPC, disclosed this on Friday in a statement.
The Commission assured consumers that it had engaged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and IKEDC to resolve the complaints.
According to FCCPC, the inability to vend on IKEDC’s franchise area is not unconnected to the traffic caused by the holidays and an attempt by consumers to invade any perceived change in tariffs purportedly on July 1, 2023.
The Commission added that it would not hesitate to investigate to the fullest any attempt to deny citizens essential utility.
“The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has received several complaints from electricity consumers in the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) franchise area. These complaints concern their inability to purchase electricity tokens or units for their prepaid meters over a recent extended period.
“The Commission has engaged with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and IKEDC to resolve these complaints and any associated difficulties with vending or purchasing tokens.
“The Commission understands that the difficulties arose in part because the past days have been public holidays, and vending agents were inundated with significant purchases over usual vending and purchase, as a result of consumers seeking to make larger than usual purchases to pre-empt any perceived change in tariffs purportedly on July 1, 2023, as has been rumoured, perceived or represented publicly.
“The situation is now under control, and IKEDC represented to the Commission that any vending constraints are unassociated with any presumptive changes in tariff.
“IKEDC has committed to continuing to conduct its business, including vending tokens following prevailing law and tariff of the time of vending.
“The Commission noted to IKEDC and now reiterates to other Discos that restricting or constricting supply or vending in a manner that prevents or impedes purchases or consumption at consumer discretion in anticipation of any changes in prevailing fiscal regimes constitutes an infringement of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018 (FCCPA) and is impermissibly oppressive. Sections 17(g), (x) and 125 of the FCCPA prohibits immoral, obnoxious, unfair, unscrupulous business practices and unfair tactics in the course of legitimate business.
“The Commission will enforce the law to the fullest extent of the same, especially when the conduct is to deny citizens access to an essential utility except under the operation of law.