NERC Slaps AEDC with N200m Fine Over Tariff Violations

By Joke Kujenya

THE NIGERIAN Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) has delivered a resounding reprimand to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Pls (AEDC) for its failure to comply with tariff regulations, culminating in a hefty fine of N200,000,000 (Two hundred million naira).

This substantial penalty comes in the wake of AEDC’s misapplication of prescribed customer band classifications for tariff billing, a violation of the Supplementary Order accompanying the April 2024 Multi-Year Tariff Order.

NERC’s enforcement action follows a comprehensive review process, during which it was discovered that AEDC had indiscriminately applied the new tariff across all customer categories, contrary to specific directives targeting only certain segments.

This erroneous application resulted in unjust charges that contravened regulatory guidelines.

In response to this breach, NERC has issued a series of stringent directive to AEDC:

  • AEDC is mandated to promptly reimburse affected customers in Bands B, C, D and E, who were erroneously billed above the allowed tariff bands, by providing balanced tokens reflection accurate rates.
  • The reimbursement process must be completed, and all affected customers compensated by 11 April 2024.
  • A hefty fine of N200,000,000 is to be paid by the AEDC for its blatant breach of regulatory directives.
  • AEDC is required to furnish evidence of compliance with these directives to NERC by 12 April 2024.

According to the NERC, this decisive regulatory action underscores its unwavering commitment to safeguarding customer rights and ensuring equitable practices within Nigeria’s electricity sector, saying that it serves as a stark reminded of the consequences of regulatory non-compliance and stresses the regulator’s dedication to upholding industry standards while also preserving customer interests.

Meanwhile, amidst speculations of another imminent electricity tariff hike aimed at attracting investments in the sector, government officials have noted they have remained guided in their statements.

The potential tariff adjustments, which could see rates surge by as much as 300%, are expected to address liquidity challenges in the power sector. However, concerns persist over the potential impact on consumers, particularly amid economic uncertainties.

The NERC further notes that as Nigeria navigates evolving energy policies and marker dynamics, regulatory oversight remains crucial to its maintaining integrity and accountability within the electricity market, adding that its decisive action against AEC highlights the regulator’s commitment to upholding industry standards and fostering a fair and transparent environment for all stakeholders.

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