Reps To Investigate Electricity Tariffs’ Increase



Teddy Oscar, Abuja


The House of Representatives’ Committee on Power will carryout an investigation to ascertain the actual cost of service charge that the Nigerian electricity consumers are expected to pay on monthly basis so as to determine, if the consumers are being over charged by the distribution companies (DISCOs).


This follows a motion raised by Hon. Hassan Saleh on the ‘need to investigate the recent increase in service charge by the DISCOs’.


In his observation, the service charges in question had already been reviewed upward by the Federal Government through NERC prior to the transfer of the unbundled Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to the core investors.


He particularly expressed concern that the reviewed service charges have been doubled by the DISCOs in recent times even as customers are yet to get value for their money.


“The upward review of the service charge to N750.00 as part of the tariff that consumers are expected to pay is to encourage the new companies that were bidding for these distribution companies, particularly to enable break even.


“Following complaints against the upward review of the amount being paid as service charge, NERC appealed to Nigerians for understanding given that the review was to encourage and create an enabling business environment for the new companies that would be taking over the functions of distribution of power.


“Recently, these power distribution companies unilaterally further reviewed the service charge to the sum of N1,500.00, and are still canvassing for further upward review, even though their services are at its lowest point presently as there are no substantial improvement in power supply, as customers are getting little value for their money,” Saleh explained.


Recall that Engr. Sam Amadi, chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has denied that the commission has given any approval to the DISCOs to effect any increase in electricity tariffs or charges.


“We want to make it clear that NERC has not sanctioned any illegal increase by any DISCO. However, customers who feel that they are victims of such purported increases should come forward with evidence. NERC will in turn send out a team to investigate,” he added.


Amadi, who explained that the DISCOs do not have a uniform tariff, said: “this is due to their peculiar cost profiles, which in turn affects the cost of the service they provide. All these details are available in the full MYTO schedule on our website.”



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