Electricity Consumers Tackle Discos, Reject Tariff Increase Nationwide
Although, there have been marginal improvement in the supply of electricity In the last few weeks consumers said the improvement is not enough for the companies to carry out upward tariff, describing the little improvement as fluke meant to impress the new political dispensation and to secure its favour.
Despite the slight improvement, consumers are still contending with crazy bills from the DISCOs, which are now embarking on consultations with consumers and National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for tariff adjustment.
Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) was the first to give notice on tariff increase, other DISCOs soon followed, with consultations and debates over the move.
Consumers have rejected the move to adjust electricity tariff, arguing that review would only be accepted after necessary infrastructure for constant supply and credible tariff charge have been put in place.
Chief Executive Officer, of Eko DISCO, Oladele Amoda, during the last consultation with customers on the matter said, “there is no way we can have stable power supply without adjusting our tariffs, because currently, we are running at a loss. The company is being run at a loss since its inception, because our investors had invested lots of money into the system, which has not reflected on the supply distribution chain to the customers.”
“Most of our equipment like transformers, cables, lines and so on, are being imported, and the cost effect of rising dollars had affected the cost of these materials. Gas supply is also another issue, gas suppliers have drastically increased the priceand they now feel reluctant to sell gas to industrialists due to price differential.”
The matter is now a subject of litigation at a Lagos High Court, where a Lagos lawyer, Adebiyi Toluwani, is asking the court to stop the move to increase electricity tariff. The Electricity Distribution Companies are holding, on pending when the matter would be resolved.
The Head of Communication and Strategy, Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC), Mr. Olaonipekun Adeyanju said, “ We are working on the consultation paper for the review, which would determine the state of the present tariff. We cannot do anything without the customers and the regulatory body.
The Asssistant General Manager, Communications and Strategy, EKO DISCO hinted that customers within the company’s jurisdiction have accepted tariff increase on the condition that light will be stable, but we are still holding on for NERC.”
Ademola Oladipo, a customer of Ikeja DISCO runs a laundry shop in Akoka. He said, “my problem with this increase is that the crazy bills have not been dealt with. So further increase, to me means we should be prepared for more crazy bills. The fact that power supply seems to improve does not mean that the problem has been solved. The analogue metres that they do not even bother to read, crazy estimated bills that are unaccounted for are matters to be resolved. As a matter of fact, if we can have this kind of power supply at the current charge, it means we have all been staying in darkness for no reason.”
The management of Jos Electricity Distribution (JED) Plc. plans to hold its maiden public consultation with customers on Tariff Review, according to its Head, Public Affairs, Mr. Paul Ikwu
Ikwu stated that the move to hold the consultation was in strict compliance with the directive of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) that the distribution companies (Discos) should hold such consultation before any tariff review.
According to him, the public consultation would be held across the four states under their supervision. The states are Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau and Benue, adding that the dates, and venues of the consultations would be communicated to both the customers and general public at a date to be announced.