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CPC Summons Power Firms Over ‘Crazy Billing’

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The Consumer Protection Council on Monday said it had summoned all electricity distribution companies in the country to defend allegations of outrageous bills levelled against them by electricity consumers.

The discos were summoned following the complaints by electricity customers over exploitative electricity billing and non-provision of meters.

The CPC warned that absence of any of the companies at the hearing would be regarded as a violation of its enabling Act.

The CPC said in a statement that through a letter issued by its Director-General, Mrs. Dupe Atoki, it had informed the power firms about the hearing on the complaints fixed for next Monday.

The statement stated that the agency “has been inundated with complaints commonly referred to as ‘crazy billing’, through which DISCOs are alleged to arbitrarily determine consumption level of consumers of electricity and bill them accordingly”. 

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It added that it also “received complaints that many consumers have paid for meters for periods spanning over 12 months, but are yet to be supplied same by their respective DISCOs”.

It pointed out that pursuant to these complaints, it has decided to commence investigation to “enable your organisation as well as other DISCOs make representation and state your position regarding the said complaints, particularly as they affect consumers in the area of your coverage.

The Council declared, “You are, therefore, by this letter summoned to attend, make representation and submit a status report on the aforementioned complaints in your area of coverage, including any other document or evidence, to support your position at the hearing”

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CPC, in its letter, cautioned the DISCOs to be “guided by Section 18 of the CPC Act that criminalises disobedience of its summon, which include neglect or refusal to attend and testify before the Council or to answer any lawful enquiry or to produce any document as may be required”. 

It advised the companies to “note that, whether you attend or not, far reaching decisions, which may be of consequence to your operations, may be taken after the hearing”.

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