NLC, CSOs Reject Electricity Tariff Hike

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and some civil society organisations (CSOs) have kicked against the new hike in electricity tariff in the country.

Those who spoke to Daily Trust yesterday said all the reasons given by government officials on the increase were not tenable, saying even in advanced societies, citizens enjoy subsidies on some basic necessities like fuel and electricity.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) yesterday announced a tariff increment from N68 kilowatt hour (kwh) to N225 kwh.

The commission said the increment was made following consultations with the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) as well as the inability of the federal government to pay over N2.9 trillion that would accrue by the end of 2024 as electricity subsidy for failure to enable cost reflective tariff.

With this tariff hike, consumers under the Band A feeders and enjoying an average of 20 hours of power supply daily will pay about N135, 000 monthly.

At a press conference in Abuja, NERC’s Vice Chairman, Musiliu Oseni, said the increase would affect only 15 per cent of the 12 million electricity consumers.

He said the commission had downgraded some customers on the Band A to Band B and C due to the non-fulfilment of the required hours of electricity provided by the electricity distribution companies.

Oseni said the review would not affect customers on the other bands, which vary from B to E.

He, however, said the increase of tariff for Band A customers would bring some incentives to ensure they would not be short-changed by the Discos.

“There are targets that have been provided for the distribution companies, which the commission will monitor and review from time to time to ensure the migration of other customers for better service.

“As part of the enforcement mechanism, the rate, which will be paid, which is N225 is just about three times the existing rate, requires the customers to get the service.

“We will be using technology to ensure that we get access directly to the distribution system and it will be gotten from the meters installed on the feeders.

“Secondly, the order provides that the DisCos must publish the seven-day rolling average of services delivery on each of the feeders on their website,” he added.

He said as part of the enforcement and monitoring mechanisms, each Disco had been mandated to set up a response team in locations of feeders that would be affected in the rate review.

“This is for the customers to have access to near real time response form the company. The discos have been urged to publish the contact of the head of the response team,” Oseni said.

He said failure to meet the service commitment for seven consecutive days, would make the feeder to be downgraded immediately to the service level the Disco is able to provide.

“The other provision is that where a DisCos failed to make the service commitment for two consecutive days, on the third day by 10 am, the DisCos must publish an explanation via bulk SMS to contact the affected customers on the feeder and provide explanation on why it is unable to provide the service required for two days.

“It will also submit to the commission the explanation and update on the commitment to restore the service.”

He said when a DisCos failed to meet the service level for a month, it would downgrade the feeders and pay compensation to the customers.

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