As the new electricity tariff regime kicks off today, many consumers are anxious ahead of their increased bills.
The new tariff comes with an increase in electricity charges in the 11 Distribution companies (Discos) as the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) integrates the Fixed Charge component in the adjusted Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO).
Although the various Discos, including the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), has said the tariff will see them increase their investments in the networks, the House of Representatives, and the Nigerian Electricity Consumers Advocacy Network (NECAN) kicked against any increase last week.
The new electricity cost for Residential customer classification (R2) under Abuja Distribution company (Disco) has risen by N9.60 per kilo watts hour (/kwhr). It was N14.70 in the old tariff. Those in Eko and Ikeja Discos are getting an increase of N10 and N8 while Kaduna Disco tariff has risen by N11.05.
Among some customers who spoke with our reporter, Ahmadu Sule, a cold room operator in Nyanya, Abuja, said he used to pay about N5,600 monthly for an estimated 12kilowatt hour (kwh) daily consumption. The estimated cost with the new tariff will now be around N9,400, he told Daily Trust on Sunday.
Spokesman, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) Mr. Sunday Oduntan, in a press briefing in Lagos at the weekend said the new tariff structure is the best thing to happen to the sector if it desires market friendly and cost reflective tariff.
He explained that over 60 per cent of the tariff paid by customers go to power generation companies (Gencos), 11per cent to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), four per cent to other stakeholders, and the Distribution companies (Discos) retain only 25 per cent to run their business.
He hinted that the price adjustment would be for two years with corresponding tariff reduction between the third and the seventh year.
Meanwhile officials at NERC said the new tariff regime takes off today after it was approved late December 2015. The Acting Chairman, Dr. Anthony Akah had earlier in a statement said the commencement date (today) holds.
A source said the Commission directed the Discos to publish their various tariffs as approved to guide their customers in the new dispensation which will hold Discos to account for their services.
The Head of Commercial at Ikeja Disco, Mrs. Folake Soetan, said the new payment structure will be implemented across five major categories including residential, commercial, industrial, special and street lights to boost the capacity of Discos.
Other Discos including Abuja, Ibadan, Jos, and Kano are publishing their tariffs in line with the directive already which will see those using prepaid meters experience the change first as they purchase electricity tokens this week. Customers under estimated billing may see the differences in their bills rise during payment period in early March, the Daily Trust has learnt.
Meanwhile the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have faulted the new electricity tariff, saying it’s meant to add salt to the injury of Nigerians who are feeling the current economic crunch.
In a communiqué issued by the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, the TUC’s Comrade Bala Kaigama, and the Coordinator, Electricity Consumer Protection Forum and Human Rights Activist, Barrister Toluwani Yemi-Adebiyi threatened to shut the offices of 11 electricity Discos today (Monday) should they increase electricity tariff in the country.