Electricity consumers across the nation have begun to pay more for power with an upward adjustment in tariff and up to 40 percent increase on fixed charges. The increased charges began unnoticed about two weeks ago, they lamented.
This, according to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), is in line with the power sector’s Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO 2) schedule released in 2012.
Meanwhile, customers spoken to by BusinessDay expressed anger and resignation to the development.
Notably, fixed charges for the most widespread customer classification – R2, used to be N500 across board, however consumers in Ibadan will now pay N625 while those in Kaduna will now pay N800. Abuja consumers are now paying N702 while Ikeja consumers are paying N750.
A statement from NERC explains, “the changes in actual tariff are not as significant. Less than N1 (one Naira) for most customers. No change in some cases (Eko and Benin),” adding that, “the fixed charge will go up every year, for sure.” A detailed breakdown on the increase for each class and area
can be viewed on NERC’s website.
Amanze Hope, a businesswoman told BusinessDay seconds after purchasing “electricity units” from the Abuja Distribution Company outlet within the metropolis, that she was disappointed by the enforcement of the new tariff.
Echoing sentiments expressed by dozens of respondents spoken to, Hope said, “where is the power
that they are charging for. The government promised that tariff hike would mirror efficiency and that the providers will not benefit unless they improve service. It seems they just keep lying to Nigerians.
John Clement, a civil servant said his fear was that when the new owners of PHCN successor companies come fully on-board, “no one will protect consumers from the greed of these private people. I am afraid that this hike we see is the beginning of bad things to come.”
The President, Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC), Bede Opara had earlier mused on the reason why the government would increase electricity tariff despite the persisting poor quality of service.
Chairman of NERC, Sam Amadi, however, has assured Nigerians that the new electricity tariff was well intended and cost efficient.