Electricity consumers lamented on Wednesday the delay by the Distribution Companies in complying with the Federal Government’s directive that the recent electricity tariff hike be suspended.
The Federal Government had in a meeting with the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress held on Sunday night till Monday morning, agreed to suspend the recent tariff hike approved by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission for two weeks.
The parties agreed to set up a technical committee comprising ministries, departments and agencies of government, NLC and TUC to examine the justifications for the new policy ‘in view of the need for the validation of the basis for the new cost-reflective tariff as a result of the conflicting information from the fields which appeared different from the data presented to justify the new policy by NERC; metering deployment, challenges, timeline for massive rollout’.
NERC disclosed on Tuesday that in line with the Federal Government’s it had issued an order to the Discos suspending the recent review in tariffs for 14 days, effective September 28. The commission further stated that all tariffs shall be computed on the rates applicable as of August 31 during the suspension.
A number of consumers, who commented on NERC’s announcement of the tariff hike suspension, complained that they still bought electricity at the old tariffs on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Oyinkro Omukoro is one of such aggrieved consumers. He claimed that the N10,000 worth of electricity units he bought from Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company on Tuesday earned him 169.80 units as against the over 320 units he would have gotten if the tariff hike was reversed.
The Discos had early in September announced what they called ‘new service reflective tariff’, which took effect from September 1, with the tariffs being charged residential consumers receiving a minimum of 12 hours of power supply rising by over 70 per cent.