Nigerians under the umbrella of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have kicked against the new electricity tariff regime which commenced on September 1, 2020.
Tuesday’s commencement of the new rates followed the approval of the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) 2020 by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
An attempt by the DisCos to adjust the tariff in July was shelved following an outcry which led to Federal Government’s intervention.
The Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IE), the Abuja Electricity Distribution (AEDC), The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) and the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) have started implementing the new rates.
The DisCos said the new rates are categorised by the number of hours the customers are supplied electricity.
According to them, rates charged are fair to customers and will guarantee full recovery of efficient cost of operations and reasonable rate of return on capital invested by the power firms.
They said the new rates will provide a path for transition to full service-based cost-reflective tariffs by July 2021.
But reacting to the new rate, the various groups described the implementation as dead on arrival, vowing to resist it by any means necessary.
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) said the action will add to cost of production with the attendant implication for the consumers.
But the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said the adjustment is inevitable.
Head of Communications of the EEDC, Emeka Eze, said the tariff increase was approved by the NERC and not a unilateral decision by the company.
EKEDC General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr. Godwin Idemudia, explained that the new tariff will not affect customers that enjoy less than 12 hours of electricity supply.
He said it had been designed to ensure that customers pay tariffs that are commensurate with power availability and service delivery.
The IE said the new order has clustered customers into five Tariff Service Bands and revised the tariff payable by customers based on quality of service.
According to the AEDC, those in category A are people with power supply for up to 20 hours; B (16 hours), C (12 hours), D (8 hours) and E (four hours). While non-MD of the AEDC pays N49.75 per kilowatts, the MD-1 N67.70, MD 1: N67.70, MD N53.05. They are referred to as Maximum Demand Customer and Non-Maximum Demand Customers.
The AEDC noted that the C1 will now pay N37.39 , C2 N47.09 and C3 N47.09. Until yesterday, they paid as follows: C1 N36.65, C2 N46.23 and C3 N46.23 per kilowatts.