THE newly established Nigerian Electricity Consumers Advocacy Network, NECAN, has said that its immediate priority was to ensure further 12.5 percent cut in electricity tariff charged on consumers, especially for huge consumers. The group said it was not comfortable with the yardstick employed by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, in drawing up the tariff.
It added that it will challenge the commission because its advocacy will be centred on finding solutions to issues that affect consumers in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI. Tomi Akingbogun, chairman of the group, in his reaction to the recent 50 percent average cut in tariff of non-residential consumers, said that such action resulted from organised consumer advocacies especially from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, and other consumer groups. “We had 84 to 94 percent increment with the Distribution companies (Discos) and we complained, they reduced it to 50 percent depending on the zone but that still leaves us with up to 12.5 percent which we think it is still high.”
The group said it is putting all legal process in place to get the network activated shortly. “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 se up with officials on ground. We assure you that we are not going to be NERC’s baby. We are going to represent the interest of the public making sure that voices of people at the rural areas are heard,” Akingbogun said.
NECAN said it was working on sensitising the public using all media platforms across the states to grow members and create awareness to adequate face electricity operators noting that it will ensure NERC sanctions Discos who fail to meter eligible consumers at specified period. Akingbogun also stated that the network would push for sanctions against discos who fail to meter customers within a given time frame, stressing that the period for metering should not be open ended.
“We are concerned about metering and we are going to make presentations to NERC to give a put a deadline for metering because if you leave open to supply or not supply meters and you still get income then you are encouraging them. If in a place they know that if you have meter you bill will be N3,000 and without it they bill you N10,000 every month then there is no incentive for them to provide the meters,” he noted.
— May 11, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT