DisCos Resume Hiked Electricity Tariff, Offer Discounts

The electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) have resumed the suspended hike in electricity tariff after several hurdles from power consumers and the organised labour.

The Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof. James Momoh, had a fortnight ago, said a new template was being worked on to allow the DisCos give 10 per cent to 31 per cent discounts to affected customers in the revised Service Based Tariff (SBT).

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An official privy to this, confirmed on Sunday that the revised template was approved for implementation on November 1, 2020.

“You may recall that with the dialogue of the government with labour, the September 1 tariff was suspended for four weeks and later halted.

“But with the flag-off of the national metering programme on Friday, and discounts for affected consumers as part of the truce, NERC directed the DisCos to begin the revised tariff,” the official revealed.

Based on the percentage reduction for Band A to C, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) on Sunday announced the new tariff starting November 1.

Its spokesman, Oyebode Fadipe said: “Customers on the pre-paid (meter) platform will be the first to experience the revised tariff when they vend from Sunday, while the revised tariff will reflect in the bills for customers on the post-paid platform when they receive their electricity bill.”

He said the tariff is divided into five bands and based on hours of supply to the customers.

Customers on Bands D and E who have less than 12 hours daily power supply, have their tariff frozen.

But those on Bands A (20 hours above), B (16 to 20 hours) and C (12 to 16 hours) will see some level of reduction in their tariff as they vend, AEDC noted.

Kaduna Electric in a statement by its spokesman, Abdulazeez Abdullahi, also confirmed it started on Sunday.

The DisCo said the approved revised SBT only affects customers on Bands, A, B, and C. Band A customers will enjoy 10% reduction on the approved SBT, customers on Band B will enjoy 10.5% while customers on Band C enjoy 31% reduction.

Commenting, the President, Nigeria Consumer Protection Network (NCPN), Kola Kola Olubiyo, described the segmented bands of electricity tariff being packaged as Service Reflective Tariff (SRT) or Service Based Tariff (SBT) as wishful thinking.

Olubiyo said this can only work when the challenges of obsolete power grid infrastructure, GenCos and TCN, TCN and DisCos’ interfaces are resolved.

“There are also issues of how to reduce the Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection Losses (ATC&C), improvement in billing delivery and billing efficiencies, blockage of institutional leakages, among others.

“These are the issues that need to be addressed and cannot be situated as usual on the altar of wishful thinking tied to the present packaging of the so-called SRT and SBT. Unless these are surgically and roundly addressed, we may just be moving in circles of wishful thinking,” he warned.

(Daily Trust) 

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