Electricity consumers in the country have decried the proposed increase in electricity tariff which is expected to take-off by September 1, 2021, without any improvement in services since the last increment in March 2021.
Recall that the 11 power Distribution Companies (DisCos) recently got approval from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to increase electricity tariff from Wednesday, September 1.
This will be the third tariff increase in about a year with the first covering the period from January to June 2021, the second, July to August 2021 and the final which will soon be announced, September to December 2021.
According to information contained in the tariff orders for customers in Lagos, they will see their tariffs increase by about N2 across board by September 1, 2021.
Post-paid customers of the DisCos are expected to start paying this tariff in October after they receive their September bills. However, prepaid customers who buy energy in September will experience tariff increases immediately.
Consumers who are majorly under Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) and Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) networks said that the units that used to last for six months could barely take two months since the increment in March
A consumer, who is under the IBEDC network paid N2,000 in February, got 55.46 as the rate of consumption, and his March bill reflected 58.39. He told our reporter that his neighbourhood barely gets an average of six hours of power supply.
Also, a consumer living in Ota, Ogun State, Kilani Majekodunmi, decried the tariff paid through the prepaid metering system, saying it rose to 100 per cent.
According to him, he loads a unit worth about N20,000 in a month for his three-bedroom apartment, which he considered outrageous considering the economic hardship in the country.
“It is so unfortunate that we have to pay this much to get electricity in the country. The recent increment in electricity tariff dealt a big blow on us and that is very unfair. I am already considering an alternative power system for my apartment because no one seems to care about electricity consumers in this country,” he said.
Another consumer in Egbeda area of Lagos, Gbenga Awosoro, lamented the incessant increment, bemoaning the services of the distribution companies, who appear to be interested in extorting consumers rather than solving problems.
“I have even purchased a new prepaid meter for my duplex before I realised the outrageous charges. In the first month in my new house, I spent about 70,000 purchasing electricity units. This is too bad and uncalled for. It’s a clear fraud, which the Nigerian government must address urgently. I had to switch to the solar system, which now powers 70 per cent of my electrical appliances. I think I don’t need them anymore but the government must rise to help Nigerian masses.”
A consumer who resides at 9/11 Kenneth Obydike Street, Oke-Afa, Isolo local government under IKEDC network, also complained that before, he got 883.6 units for N20, 000, which lasted him four months.
“But now, I discovered that for the same N20, 000, I get 453.5 units, which only lasts me nine weeks. This is a residential area and my wife, children and I are barely at home. We go to work and our children go to school and we are paying such a huge amount for power. Something is wrong. We only have power for an average of 12 hours a day. These arbitrary charges must be addressed,” he said.
General Manager, Loss Reduction at EKEDC, Olumide Anthony-Jerome explained that the increment is as a result of the nationwide mandate to implement the Service-Based Tariff (SBT) approved by NERC.
According to the newly approved plan for Eko DisCo, customers under Band A non-maximum Demand (MD) – customers with lower power consumption capacity have their rates increased by N2 per kilowatts hour (kwh), from N54.08/kwh to N56.08/kwh and are promised at least 20 hour of supply daily.
MD1 customers on Band A will pay N58.94/kwh from N56.94/kwh.
For instance, customers on Band D and E are also affected: Residential Customer 2 S (R2S), Commercial customers (C1S) and Industrial customers1S (D1S) who paid N26/kwh between July and August will now pay N28/kwh.