28 August 2015, Abuja – SOME electricity consumers in Lagos on Thursday appealed to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, to consider the removal of fixed charge for electricity consumption from their monthly bills.
The consumers made the call against the backdrop of the call by the Senate for the removal. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Senate had on August 11 urged the NERC to consider the complaints of electricity consumers by abolishing the fixed charges.
Dr. Sam Amadi, the Chairman of NERC, had also on August 17, said that only consumers without electricity would not pay fixed charge. They told NAN that the appeal became necessary because the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) were using the charge to extort money from consumers.
Mr. Abdul-Rasak Osho, the Chairman, Iponri Housing Estate Residents Association, said it would be difficult to know the consumers without power supply, following the general monthly billing system. “It is difficult to know who uses power supply and those that don’t because at the end of the month, every consumer will be given bills.
I was not at home for six months and they brought a bill of N67,950 for the period. “Even when we were in complete blackout for two months they were bringing outrageous bills.
My advice is that Amadi should allow peace to reign by ensuring total removal of fixed charge as the extortion should be stopped now,” he said.
The Chairman, Alaba-Oro, Mosafejo Landlords Association, Ajeromi Ifelodun Community Development Local Council, Mr. Yusuf Raji, said that NERC directive could not work because most of the DISCOs staff engage in sharp practices.
Most of their workers are corrupt and this will make it difficult for them to know the consumers without power supply. As a regulator, NERC should help consumers to put a stop to exploitation by the DISCOs, we can no longer tolerate it.
Enough is enough,” he said. Chief Owas Owabumuwa, the President, Amuwo Odofin New Town Landlords Association, said that consumers in the area would not rest until NERC completely removes the charge from monthly billings.
Owabumuwa said that the regulator was indirectly saying that fixed charge has come to stay. He urged the regulator to reconsider the Senate’s suggestion by removing the charge.