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Consumer Protection Commission charges PHEDC to improve services

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Amaechi Okonkwo, Port Harcourt

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has 

charged the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company PHEDC to improve its services to their customers.

This is as the commission has begun moves to resolve series of complains by residents of Rivers State electricity subscribers to the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC).

The executive vice chairman of FCCPC, Mr Babatunde Irukera, gave the charge on Monday, at the Electricity Consumer Complaint Resolution programme held in Port Harcourt.

Speaking on the ways to resolve the issues bordering on the distribution and consumption of electricity in Rivers, Babatunde stressed the need for reconciliation and better service by PHEDC.

He explained that consumers at the programme complained the insensitive of the Electricity Company in ignoring their complaints.

Irukera said: “The primary point of aggravation is the consumers believe that the Electricity Distribution Company is not responsive, is not sensitive, they don’t have sufficient feedback mechanism for them to tell them what the problem is and the limited mechanism they don’t show response.

“Now, what is the primary problem that creates the needs for that: Arbitrary billing, mass disconnection, metering and insufficient supply.

“We can move to resolving open items in all the reconciliations that customers bring in. We are staying here for four days with them and is not that difficult to resolve the issue complained by the consumers.

“The complains that they brought here will be resolved. We are hoping that this kick-start or catalysis Discos to do it themselves”. 

Reacting on the inconsistent billing as complained by the consumers at the programme, the vice chairman of FCCPC, noted that people did not get value of money they expended in electricity tariff, stressing the need for PHED to tackle issue of tariff to reduce the rate of lamentations by the consumers.

“I think the tariff system will be a better discussion when people truly really pay in what they get. Part of this tariff argument is that people do not get value for money. If we can address the value for money preposition, then the reality of the tariff difficulties will become clearer and will be a better discussion”, Irukera added.

Also speaking, Ajere Angela, head, customer care of PHED, appreciated the move by FCCPC in reconciling electricity consumers and the company in their position against the company.

Ajere who represented the managing director of PHED, stressed that the company was ready to receive complains at all time to better their services, adding that feedback mechanism is one of the problems they have had recently with consumers.

“Complains in the electricity company is the reason why we are here. This engagement meant to enable us ameliorate issues between ourselves and our customers.

‘We have heard from our customers and for us an opportunity to educate our customers, sensitise them and enlighten them that there are other channels of complain true solution. We have the complaint true mechanism and we have different avenues that they can get through the DISCO.

“For us in PHEDC, feedback, follow up and follow true is the best mechanism.”

She assured “For these complains that have come up here, we are going to take them one after the other and ensure that we resolve all complains that are coming to us to the best of our ability”.

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