Complaints About Power Sector Highest In Nigeria – CPC | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Complaints About Power Sector Highest In Nigeria – CPC

Posted: May 11, 2015 at 1:31 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Judith Eshemitan, Lagos  


The Consumer Protection Council (CPC), has rated consumer complaints on the performance and activities of the power sector as the highest in the country.

The observation was made by Director General (DG) of the council, Mrs. Dupe Atoki, in her speech at the second Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Stakeholder Conference held in Lagos on Friday.



The theme of the conference was, ‘The Nigerian Consumer Rights, Duties and Obligations.

Atoki, in her speech stated that consumer issues in the power sector far outweigh those of the banking, telecommunications and aviation sectors amongst others.

She noted that although the number of people becoming aware of their rights as consumers was on the increase, more still needed to be done.

The DG pointed out that the number of complaints was rising very fast, as more people were now beginning to insist on their rights as consumers.

It would be recalled that some electricity consumers in Lagos on Thursday condemned what they called irregularities in the receipts issued to owners of pre-paid meters by Ikeja Electric (IE).

The consumers described the receipts issued to them after recharging their meter card as fraudulent and theft of customers’ identity rights and privileges.

Investigations conducted by Daily Independent revealed that the most affected consumers are those from Gowon and Shagari Estates, Egbeda and Akowonjo areas of Lagos.

Some of the consumers told our correspondent that the receipts issued to them in unknown names and addresses cast aspersions on their integrity and personality. They also said that current receipts which did not carry their identity and addresses had made it impossible for them to use such receipts in business and government transactions.

A resident of Gowon Estate, Egbeda, Mr Kunle Ishola, said he was alarmed to notice after recharging at Ponle Business Unit of IE near Gowon Estate, that the receipt contained another consumer’s name and address.

Ishola said that IE officials were adamant on providing convincing information concerning such a development but only appealed to him to come back later.

“But I was disappointed again this month when I went for payment, the same name and address was written in my payment receipt. The cashier just told me that there was nothing he could do about it”, he said.

A similar complaint was made by Mr Godwin Okeke, a businessman resident in Shagari Estate in Lagos. In narrating his ordeal, disclosed how the issuance of receipt with wrong names had impacted negatively on his business.

He said:, “I wanted to open a new bank account and I approached the bank of my choice with the receipt of my electricity bill as demanded. But I was taken aback when the cashier told me that the bill I brought was not mine. I could not believe my eyes too, I have not been checking the receipt all these while. After complaining at the IE office, they could not change the receipt, that’s how I failed to open the account”.

Speaking also, Mr Ibrahim Salawu, a landlord at Akowonjo, accused IE of using the new payment method to defraud electricity consumers and even the government.

“When you make a transaction and your name and address did not appear on the receipt, how will they be able to carry out proper auditing at the end of the year? If the error continues, I may be forced to sue the company because what they are doing is wrong,’’ he said.

Lamenting also, Mrs Bimbola Adisa, a resident of Agbado, equally accused IE cashiers of using network failure as an excuse to force consumers into accepting the fraudulent receipts. She urged the company to rectify the irregularities in their payment obligations.

Adisa said that the consumers using pre-paid meters within the zone were fed up with the series of complaints associated with pre-paid electricity bills.

When contacted, IE’s Assistant General Manager (AGM) Public Affairs, Mr Pekun Adeyanju, said the noticeable irregularities arose during the documentation of consumers on prepaid meters early in the year.

Adeyanju advised the consumers within the network that were experiencing such irregularities to contact the IE Customer Care Unit at Alausa. He said that they were aware of the problem associated with wrong names and addresses and emphasised that the anomaly would soon be corrected.

The AGM denied the allegations that the company was using the new payment method to defraud its consumers. He added that the cash transactions would reflect in the payment receipt.

Adeyanju appealed for the understanding of consumers over the issue.