Consumers protest tariff increment by Ikeja electric

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Ikeja Electricity consumers have demanded that 90 percent of consumers should be metered before any upward review of tariff.

The consumers on Monday opposed the planned tariff increment by Ikeja Electric (IE) also slammed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for failing to protect the interest of Nigerians who are still subjected to exploitative estimated bills by the electricity Distribution Companies (Discos).

They made their views known at the Extraordinary Tariff Review Stakeholders Consultation organised by IE in Ikeja.

The 50 per cent tariff increase, which is expected to begin from April 1, will raise the average tariff from the current level of N27.30 per kilowatt to N40.95 per kilowatt.

Speaking at the forum, Sural Fadairo, National President, Energy Consumer Rights and Responsibilities Initiative, said IE should give priority to metering of all customers under its network instead of asking for a tariff review.

Fadairo said the Discos were not following NERC regulations in issuing their estimated bills, urging the regulatory agency to be alive to its responsibility.

Similarly, Ayodele Olawoye, Chairman, Joint Action Committee, Electricity Distribution Companies Customer Rights, said the increment would only inflict more pains on Nigerians.

“We are going to resist this increment and we will go to court. 90 per cent of customers must be issued pre-paid meters before any talk of tariff increment,” he said.

On his part, Adeola Samuel-Ilori, National Coordinator, All Electricity Consumers Protection Forum, said the increment was uncalled for based on various factors.

He said: “Firstly, it is not yet five years since the last Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) was implemented, which was in February 2016.

“Secondly, many consumers still buy transformers and line materials which are supposed to be purchased by the Distribution Companies (DisCos).

“The third ground is efficiency. Going by Section 76 (I) (2) of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005, the law says each licensee must have solved the issue of efficiency and this has not been done.”

However, Anthony Youdeowei, Chief Executive Officer, IE, said the consultation forum was one of the requirements by NERC before tariff review, noting that the proposed increment was aimed at achieving a cost reflective tariff.

Youdeowei explained that the tariff increment was not only for the Discos but for the electricity industry and for better service delivery by various levels of the value chain.

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