Distribution companies are mandated by law to pay fees ranging from N1,500 to N3,000 for every day a consumer goes without electricity supply due to an illegal disconnection.
National Coordinator, All Electricity Consumers Protection Forum, Adeola Ilori, said this at stakeholders gathering in Lagos on Wednesday.
Citing Section 11 of the Connection and Disconnection Schedule of the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act, Ilori said the Discos are to compensate any consumer illegally disconnected.
He said, “Upon conviction, the Discos must compensate any consumer illegally disconnected with N1,500 per day for R2 —residential, N2,000 for C1 – shops and offices and N2,500 for industrial customers.”
Ilori accused the Discos of hardly ever paying the stipulated compensation but always ready to disconnect people from the grid without a disconnection notice or just a three-day reprieve at best.
Referencing Section 5 of the same schedule, Ilori said the regulatory commission had given the Discos free reign to disconnect people.
He added, “The provision allows consumers 10 working days of grace, from the day the bill was received before payment can be made.”
The lawyer also frowned at the conflict resolution procedure in the power sector reform act.
He observed that the process, which requires customers to wait for 15 working days after making a complaint to a distribution company before approaching the electricity regulatory agency was flawed as it did not prescribe any punishment for the failure of the electricity distributor to respond to the complaint.
Ilori added that the Discos should stop complaining of poor revenue, saying they should look more closely at the illegal dealings done by their staff.
As a way of tackling the seeming impunity of distribution companies, the lawyer advised the regulatory commission to create an independent monitoring committee in the franchise area of the 11 companies that would give independent reports on compliance.