Electricity distribution companies have quietly increased payment by energy consumers across the country.
Although most Discs did not make this public, power users have opposed the move, describing it as a fleece amid the harsh economic reality in Nigeria today.
Reacting to the price hike, a resident of the Lagos intellectual estate, Mr. Oye Sola, lamented the increase.
He said: “The electricity rate is now N72.2 per unit. Another N66 price hike; I suspect they go to N100. A higher price for poorer services.
Another Ikeja Disco customer identified as Ola Busari said: “They are just squeezing us. This is a perfect steal. The discs need to be checked.
Another Lagos resident named Olojede said: “They increased the prices without informing us. There was no official communication for us as representatives of our property.” However, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, in its Multi-Year Tariff Order, provides a 15-year tariff path for the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry with limited minor revisions each year.
It establishes that reviews are made in light of changes in a limited number of parameters, such as inflation, interest rates, exchange rates, and generation capacity, and major reviews every five years when all inputs are reviewed with interested parties.
NERC, however, did not announce the latest rate increase, which a power distribution company blamed on the regulator on Wednesday.
A Twitter user, Oyibo Ediri, accused the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company of Disco silently raising the power fee in December, alleging that the company raised the fee for non-peak demand customers by N12.65.
“AEDC has quietly increased the cost of electricity. The cost increased from N57.55 in December to N68.2 for rate band A non-MD. No official statement from @aedcelectricity or @NERCNG on the increase. These people won’t stop to fleece us,” said the Twitter user.
In response to the tweet, the AEDC, through its official Twitter account, @aedcelectricity, explained that the rate increase was based on the NERC order.
“Good day, please note that the rate increase is in compliance with the NERC order,” Disco stated.
Additionally, in reaction to AEDC’s response, Ediri requested the utility to provide current NERC-approved rates.
“Kindly make available the current rates as mandated by @NERCNG. Thank you,” said the Twitter user.
Another Twitter user, Justin David, who reacted to Ediri’s request, said: “We look forward to your response.”
But the Disco did not comment further or respond to requests from energy consumers.
However, until Wednesday it was not possible to obtain a response from the electricity regulator. His officials did not immediately respond to calls and text messages seeking clarification about the development.
But on its website, the NERC explained that one of the commission’s primary functions, as set forth in Section 32(d) of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005, was to ensure that the prices charged by licensees were fair to customers and sufficient to enable licensees to finance their activities and earn reasonable profits for efficient operations.
Pursuant to the authority granted under Section 76 of the EPSR Act 2005, the commission established a methodology for determining electricity rates in the Nigerian electricity supply industry and subsequently issued a rate order called Multi-year Tariff Order setting tariffs for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Nigeria,” it said.
He added: “The purpose of MYTO is to establish cost-reflective rates that will allow the electricity sector to be adequately financed and functional.
“Provides a 15-year rate trajectory for the NESI with limited minor revisions every year in light of changes in a limited number of parameters (such as inflation, interest rates, exchange rates, and generation capacity) and major revisions every five years. when all inputs are reviewed with stakeholders.”
Meanwhile, the rate increase was first observed in Rate Band A Non-MD, which increased from N57.55 per unit in December to N68.2 per unit.
This equates to about a 19 percent increase in the fee, according to the punch calculation.
Reacting to the development, the National Secretary of the Nigerian Electricity Consumer Advocacy Network, Uket Obonga, confirmed the tariff increase, but stated that it was in line with the MYTO.
He said: “They (the discos) are transitioning to the new tariff regime that comes into force as of January. On January 1 of this year, around 4 PM, I had more than 300 units in my meter, but to confirm if there is an increase, I had to buy a few units online.
“I bought units of N2,000, which is supposed to be about 26 or 27 units, but what I saw there was about 21 units, which is a confirmation that there is a fee increase based on the current MYTO.
“They went to a new tariff regime on January 1. But there have been other arbitrary increases outside of the MYTO regime. However, the one that went into effect is now based on MYTO, as captured in the MYTO 2020 order.”
In addition, the president of NERC, Sanusi Garba, had said during a press conference: “We will adjust the rate every six months to take care of the foreign exchange component of costs and also inflation. This is absolutely something very simple.”
Although the president said the rate might not necessarily be an upward revision, the naira continued to depreciate over time.
The spokesperson for Eko Electricity, Ikeja Electric and Ibadan DisCos, Godwin Idemudia, Ayeni Akinola and Busolami Tunwase, respectively, declined to comment on the matter. Our correspondent was directed to the Nigerian Association of Electricity Distributors.
the punch he had made calls to the spokesman for DisCos’ umbrella body, the Nigerian Electricity Distributors Association, Sunday Oduntan, but there was no response. The response sent to a message sent to his line was still awaited at press time.