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Experts condemn hike in electricity tariff


LAGOS – Some experts in the nation’s power sector on Wednesday condemned the increase in electricity tariff announced recently by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews in Lagos that the increase would was not compatible with epileptic power supply nationwide.
NAN recalls that NERC on Dec. 23 unveiled a new tariff regime with effect from Jan. 1, 2015 in which industrial consumers are to pay more for every unit of electricity..
NERC also said that the new regime would be extended to residential consumers in June of 2015.
Mr Adekunle Makinde, the immediate past President, Nigerian Institution of Electrical Electronics Engineers (NIEEE), said that consumers were being made to pay for unavailable and poor electricity services.
“Just like I always advocated, the consumers are not bothered or disturbed about the tariff if and when there is value for the money paid.
“The problem now is that the services are not available and if consumers are being made to pay more for services that are not available something is wrong somewhere.
“Even the regulators that are supposed to be protecting the interest of the consumers are not doing the very best of what they are supposed to be doing.
“If the electricity supply being provided is not sufficient and now you want people to pay more, I think that is not good for consumers,” he said.
Mr Yomi Kolawole, Managing Director, Topean Energy Solution, said that many consumers were crying that the current billing was outrageous because it did not have prepaid meter.
Kolawole said that the majority of consumers on estimated billing would suffer because of the new tariff.
“Majority of electricity consumers in the country are not given prepaid meter and the burden of new tariff will be on them.
“If every consumers have prepaid meters in their homes, offices and companies, there won’t be complaints from any quarters,’’ Kolawole said.
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He also said that increasing the tariff at this period of time was not fair.
Also, Mr Bede Opara, President-General, Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) condemned the tariff increment.

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Opara said that the increment was untimely and would add to current hardship consumers were passing through in the country.

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The president-general urged the new investors to upgrade the dilapidated power installations nationwide as part of efforts to improve power supply.

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“Our union stand is very clear on this. We shall stand to reject any hike in the electricity tariff when power supply is erratic,” he said. (NAN)

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