Electricity consumers, under the aegis of the Nigerian Electricity Consumer Advocacy Network, NECAN is set to petition the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola over the increased power tariff that is set to takeoff in February.
The consumers called on Fashola to stop the plan by the electricity distribution companies to implement the increase in tariffs by February 1, 2016, pending when its own side of argument is taken into consideration.
It will be recalled that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC announced a new tariff regime in December 2015 in which it raised the amounts payable for units of electricity by different categories of consumers by over 45 per cent and recently insisted that the new rates would be enforced from next month.
Speaking, the Chairman, NECAN, Mr. Tomy Akingbogun, said that the association has taken a decision to petition the minister and the National Assembly on the new tariff regime.
He said, “We objected; but still at that, they never let us have any official document concerning the meeting despite the fact that we presented our papers to NERC. So, right now, we don’t have any official report showing our own inputs as to why we believe that electricity tariffs should not be increased.
That is why we want to meet the minister so that we can let him know what is wrong with the review and how it should be corrected. We are also planning to press our demand at the National Assembly, because we believe it won’t be right to increase tariffs without hearing from all sides in the power sector. The power sector is not only made up of the Discos, the consumers are also stakeholders in the sector and they too must be heard.
We have our own argument and we believe that the information given by the Discos as to why tariffs should be increased is one-sided. NERC did not present our own investigation and views to the companies, for we made explanations of our findings to the commission but it never gave us a copy of the communiqué of the meetings it had with the power firms.’