Thursday, January 27

Electricity tops 2021 consumer complaints chart as aviation, telecoms follow

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) says the electricity sector has again topped its 2021 consumer-related complaints chart just like in 2020.

According to NAN, this was made known by the Chief Executive Officer of FCCPC, Mr Babatunde Irukera, on Sunday in Abuja, as he said that banking-related complaints were following closely as second on the chart.

Irukera explained that aviation and telecommunication related complaints were next on the chart.

What the Chief Executive Officer of FCCPC

Irukera said that the commission received and completed the processes of no fewer than 32,000 consumer-related complaints in 2021, with 80% of them being resolved.

He said, “For the sectors that received the highest complaints, we have electricity, banking then aviation is now competing with telecommunications on the third place.

“The biggest problem with the airlines is not even the technical issues but their lack of transparency, responsiveness and been able to refund passengers when it becomes absolutely clear that flying at that time becomes pointless for them.

“We are continuing that battle and then we are resolving many complaints.’’

The FCCPC boss had noted that some businesses were yet to come to terms that the regulatory space had changed and that they had a responsibility, a situation he still sees as a challenge.

He said, “Others include consumers who sometimes are very complacent and do not want to enforce their rights or those that criticise the commission even when their rights are being enforced.

“The nature of our challenges are modifying themselves as we go. COVID has presented an incredible challenge. It has changed our lives, changed how we work yet it has not changed how we consume.

“People are not going out much to buy things, even food, people now order them to come to them. What that does is that it raises the level of complaints because people are not able to access.

“So, there are more complaints but infrastructure for handling the complaints are still the same. The new normal that we find ourselves is one of the key challenges.’’

What you should know

It’s no longer news that many Nigerians have complained bitterly about the illegal and unfair practices of the electricity distribution companies. They had repeatedly frowned at the practice of paying heavily for services that they have not received.

The FCCPC had in recent times increased its tempo with respect to enforcement of the rights of consumers.