30 April 2015, Lagos – Power consumers under the aegis of the recently established Nigeria Electricity Consumers Advocacy Network have called for reduction in electricity tariffs.
The NECAN made the call on Wednesday in Abuja during its maiden press briefing on what it ought to achieve in the Nigerian electricity supply industry.
The group’s steering committee was set up by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission on Monday and was asked to get NECAN registered as a formidable national advocacy body that could hold private investors accountable in the electricity distribution chain.
The Chairman of the steering committee, Mr. Tomi Akingbogun, while commenting on the recent 50 per cent cut in tariff for non-residential customers as announced by NERC, stated that it was as a result of pressure from organised consumer advocacies, especially the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and other groups.
He explained that NERC, after consulting with the electricity distribution companies, raised the tariff without considerable inputs from consumers.
Akingbogun noted that although the tariff was cut by 50 per cent, the reduction was still not satisfactory to consumers.
“They (NERC) reduced it by 50 per cent but that is not satisfactory because the tariff is still high.”
According to him, NECAN is putting all legal process in place to get the network activated as soon as possible.
Akingbogun said, “With the formation of the advocacy network, we are opening the door to all members of the public to be heard. We are going to have offices set up with officials on the ground.
“We assure you that we are not going to be NERC’s baby. We are going to represent the interest of the public by making sure that the voices of people in the rural areas are heard,”
He added that the NECAN steering committee was working on sensitising the public by using all media platforms across the states to grow members and create the required awareness so as to adequately face the electricity operators.
He said the group would ensure that NERC sanctioned electricity distribution companies that failed to meter eligible consumers at specified periods.