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New Tariff: Nigerians react as 11 DisCos get deadline to refund customers wrongly billed

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has slammed 11 electricity distribution companies (DisCos) with deadline of April 11, 2024, to refund customers wrongly billed at the new rate.

This directive was contained in a document signed by Mr Abba Terab, the DGM, Market Competition and Rates for the Commission and made available journalists.

The refund, NERC said, should be through energy tokens no later than April 11, and file evidence of compliance with the Commission by April 12.

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It also directed all Discos to provide as much clarity as possible to all affected customers.

The DisCos are hereby directed to implement the following updates: “All DisCos shall ensure that only the newly approved Band A feeders listed in their April 2024 supplementary orders are maintained as Band A for the purpose of vending to prepaid customers and billing for postpaid customers on their networks.

“All DisCos are required to immediately post on their websites the schedule of approved Band A feeders that have been affected by the rate review.

“All DisCos shall set up a portal by 10th April 2024 on their website that allows all customers to check their current Bands by entering their meter or account numbers.

“All customers wrongly billed at the new rate should be refunded through energy tokens no later than Thursday 11th April 2024, and file evidence of compliance with the Commission by 12th April 2024.

“The Commission shall monitor compliance with the requirements listed above and shall continue to provide support to all stakeholders as required.” the document said.

Reacting to the new order, Dr.Olufemi Omoyele of the department of Entrepreneurship Studies at Osun State University told Business Hallmark that ” it’s a good development, I think the regulatory commission is beginning to discover its groves, how the DISCOs carry out this directive will give us an insight as to whether NERC is actually in charge.”

Andrew Gyang, a federal civil servant expressed doubts adding that ” the regulator has been in bed with Discos for years, how many sanctions has the regulator applied for many infractions of the power companies. Let us see how far this will go.”

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