By Etuka Sunday
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) yesterday said it has commenced hearing on appeal against Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC).
The appeal was made by the Mayfair Gardens Property Owners and Residents Association of Lekki Peninsula, who cited Eko Forum’s inability to make a binding ruling on some of the issues they brought forward to them as the reason for their appeal.
A statement by Dr. Usman Abba Arabi, Head, Public Affairs Department, NERC said according to Tijani Temitayo, the council for Mayfair Gardens, “Eko Forum has not exercised the powers given to it by NERC regulations”.
EKEDC contended, through their council Oladimeji Ademola, that all decision made by the Eko Forum were binding. They requested that the NERC panel hearing the appeal uphold the decisions of the Eko Forum.
Mayfair Gardens Property Owners and Residents Association’s main argument is premised on the fact that they solely financed the electricity infrastructure within the estate to serve the residents, prior to the Commission’s ruling against private individual distribution of electricity. Based on this ruling, they had to transfer ownership of the power plant to EKEDC.
However, with the transfer of the power plant to EKEDC’s hands, Mayfair Gardens feels that they have not been served adequately by EKEDC even with the infrastructure which EKEDC had no hand in developing. This led to them initially dragging the utility company before the Eko Forum panel.
There were six issues brought forward by Mayfair Gardens against EKEDC before the Eko Forum panel. Of this six, Mayfair Gardens decided on appealing Issues One, Five and Six before the NERC panel.
Issue One concerned the tariff status of Mayfair Garden residents, which they contended was different from the tariff class in similar estates in the Lekki Peninsula. Issue Five involves a complaint against the failure of the EKEDC to recognise Mayfair Garden Limited as its management representatives, while Issue Six dealt with an accusation of overcharge on transmission losses being passed on to Mayfair Garden residents, which they requested a refund running into millions of Naira.
The panel that heard this case consisted of the Commissioner for Legal, Licencing and Enforcement, Dr. Steven Andzenge, the Commissioner for Markets, Competition and Rates, Mr. Eyo Ekpo, and the Commissioner for Engineering, Standards and Safety, Engr. Mary Awolokun.
This is the same panel that on the 3rd of April 2014 heard another case involving Messers A&P Foods Ltd as the petitioner and Exusia Power & Gas Ltd as the respondent. This case was centred on what was referred to as the unlawful agreement for the generation and supply of electricity by Exusia Power & Gas Ltd. to A&P Foods without a license from the Commission.
Meanwhile, NERC’s appeal panel has adjourned the case between Mayfair Gardens and EKEDC indefinitely, stating that they would inspect the entire Mayfair Gardens electrical infrastructure before making a ruling on the matter.