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Electricity customers outraged as DisCos hike tariff again

Electricity consumers have expressed their frustration following announcements by Distribution Companies (DisCos) regarding an increase in tariffs for Band A customers.

Notices from several utility firms on Wednesday revealed that the tariff has been raised from N206.80 to N209.50 per kW/h, effective from July 1, 2024.

The Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) announced the new rates on its official X handle, @EKEDP, assuring customers of a guaranteed 20-hour minimum power supply in line with the Service Based Tariff.

Shortly after, Ikeja Electric issued a similar notice, clarifying that the tariff for Bands B, C, D, and E remained unchanged.

The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Plc (IBEDC) also confirmed the tariff hike, stating that the adjustment was approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Company (NERC) under the multi-year tariff supplementary order.

The IBEDC cited several economic factors, including fluctuations in the exchange rate, inflation, available generation capacity, and the cost of gas, as reasons for the increased operational costs necessitating the tariff hike.

In a statement, IBEDC’s Acting Managing Director, Francis Agoha, reassured customers that the adjustment was essential to maintain and improve service quality, despite concerns about the change.

Meanwhile, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) did not post any notice of an increment. However, AEDC was recently fined N200 million by NERC for violating the New Tariff Order.

NERC instructed AEDC to refund customers in Bands B, C, D, and E who were incorrectly billed under the new tariff.

The announcement of the latest tariff increase has sparked outrage online. Many customers voiced their dissatisfaction with the DisCos’ service and the justification for the price hike.

On social media, @iamscrummy criticized the DisCos, stating, “No light you are designing rubb!!!sh.”

Another user, @ChAAley10, complained about poor service in Igando, Lagos, where residents have endured inconsistent power supply for over eight weeks.

An EKEDC customer from Festac Town, Lagos, questioned the classification of their area under Band A, noting a continuous 84-hour power outage. The customer, @dlomann, expressed frustration over the lack of communication and action from the DisCo.

@mz_fejiroo echoed similar sentiments, urging the DisCos to address customer issues before increasing tariffs, describing their customer service as “terrible.”

Electricity customers are calling for better service and more transparent operations from the DisCos, highlighting the ongoing struggles within Nigeria’s power sector.

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