11 April 2015, Lagos – Some experts in the power sector recently faulted the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (NERC) directive that Distribution Companies (DISCOs) would now fix their tariffs.
They told the newsmen in separate interviews in Lagos that the directive could cause chaos because the DISCOs would over bill consumers who had no choice. We gathered that Dr Sam Amadi, Chairman of NERC, on April 8 said that DISCOs could now fix their tariffs in consultation with consumers, which would be subjected to approval by the commission.
Amadi said this in Abuja at the end of the monthly meeting with the power generation firms and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN). He said the new directive was due to the different operating cost of the DISCOs.
Mr Adekunle Makinde, immediate past President, Nigerian Institution of Electrical Electronics Engineers (NIEEE), said that NERC was deviating from its duty as a regulator.“NERC is not doing its work of regulating the electricity tariff; instead, it is giving investors free hands to exploit Nigerians and this can lead to disorder in the sector.
“Presently, consumers are complaining that the present tariff structure is unacceptable. It will be wrong if NERC gives one of its functions to the DISCOs.“These are investors who will not stop at making profit.“The directive will definitely result to anarchy because the DISCOs will want something that will be favourable to them while consumers will not want to be cheated,” he said.
Mr Yomi kolawole, Chairman, Topean Energy Solution, Ikeja, Lagos, said that it was not possible for DISCOs to consult consumers before fixing tariffs because it would not work.“I don’t know how they will achieve this because it is not possible to gather all consumers together and fix the price of tariffs with them.
“I think NERC is not being sincere with its new directives.“In March, the chairman came out to tell consumers that they have slashed the tariff by 50 per cent and now it is the DISCOs that will fix a new tariff.“This has indicated that NERC has lost focus,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Pekun Adeyanju, the Assistant General Manager of Ikeja Electric told NAN that DISCOs had not received a directive from NERC on that effect.“We only heard it on television and read it on newspapers; we are still awaiting the directive.
“We are not part of the meeting; it was only for power generation and TCN,” he said.Mr Godwin Idemudia, Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs Division of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), also said that the company had not received any directive from NERC.