Electricity: Manufacturers angry over excessive billings by DISCOs

…NERC suspends new tariffs, bars DISCOs from importing meters

20 June 2015, Abuja  – Manufacturers in the country have voiced their anger over excessive billings by the distribution companies, DISCOs.

Power distribution transformer.

Power distribution transformer.

Accordingly, Dr. Sam Amadi, the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, told the manufacturers in Lagos that the Commission had suspended take-off of the new electricity tariffs until the DISCOs have adequately consulted with industrial, commercial and residential consumers.

He disclosed that NERC had also barred the DISCOs from further importing meters until ones locally produced are exhausted.

Vanguard learned that the new tariffs which would have become effective from next month for commercial, industrial and residential consumers are in the Multi-Year Tariff Order, MYTO, 2.1 and spans 2015 to 2018.

It was further learned that if implemented it would have lead to rise in energy charges. For, instance, Ikeja DISCO, energy charge for residential consumers will rise from N13.61 kwh to N14.96 per kwh on July 1, 2015.

The energy charge would further go up to N14.50 per kwh in 2016, N13.88 per kwh in 2017 and N12.85 per kwh in 2018.

Similarly, for Eko DISCO, the fixed monthly charge for residential R2 category is N750 in 2015, N900 in 2016, N1, 080 in 2017 and N1, 296 in 2018. The energy charge will rise from N12.87 per kwh to N18.75 per kwh, an increase of 45 per cent, on July 1, 2015. The energy charge will be N18.01 per kwh in 2016, N19.39 per kwh in 2017 and N16.42 per kwh in 2018.

Addressing, the manufacturers, who came from different parts of the country during Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, interactive session with the NERC, the Chairman of the Commission said it would not approved the implementation of the new tariffs until the DISCOs have followed due process of consultation with consumers.

While acknowledging that the DISCOs are operating under difficult conditions, Amadi said there is no justification for the new tariffs, stressing: “Why should you increase tariffs if you can’t respond to consumers’ complaints and letters.”

MAN President, Dr. Frank Jacobs, noted that ‘MAN is always on the alert regarding developments in electricity tariff because of the central position energy costs occupy in manufacturing total cost of production in the country.

“The share of energy total cost to total cost of manufacturing production hovers around 40 per cent over the years. MAN had always expressed disapproval with the high electricity fixed charge and rates heaped on manufacturers in their various categoriza- tion of DI, D2 and D3, especially as contained in the MYTO 2.1,”he said.

– Vanguard

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