The All Electricity Consumers Protection Forum , a body fighting for the right of electricity consumers, has warned the Ikeja Electric and other Power Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to reverse their decision to increase electricity tariff from July 1, 2020 or be ready to be dragged to court.
The body asked DISCOs to implement the order of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) which ordered them to repealed the estimated billing and replace it with capping order, the templates for the maximum kwh a customer without meter in R2S, R2T and C1 should be charged which they disregard or otherwise be ready to face court action.
The Forum, in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Gideon Balogun threatened to drag DISCOS to court if they increase the tariff without implementing the NERC order.
The statement read: ‘We received the news of tariff increase with utmost surprise and mix feelings. As much as we may not be unaware as to reasons adduced for the increase, we still believe that such an increase ought not to take place at this economic trying period of Consumers.
“With notices seen issues by all DISCOS to the effect that effective from July 1st, 2020 the implementation of the so-called increment shall take service effect, it’s disheartening to see that DISCOS will not waste time at doing this just because it favours their operational business but will not as much give publicity to any NERC order that shifted towards consumers relief rather they will do all in their power to suppress, manipulate and whimsically disobey it.
“It will be recalled that even though, the NERC order 197/2020 indicates in Paragraph A of the order that Estimated billing has been repealed and replaced with capping order with attendant capping templates to DISCOS as to the maximum kwh a customer without meter in R2S, R2T and C1 should be charged, many DISCOS have flagrantly disregard the usage which led to unprecedented astronomical increase since.
“All Electricity Consumers Protection Forum, will not watch as these oppressive moves linger to further weaken the purchasing power of consumers.
“We, therefore, demand that as they implement the increase in tariff on July 1st, 2020, the capping methodology approved by same NERC who empowered the Discos to implement tariff increment must be obeyed in full and spirit of that order on capping.
“We reiterate our resolve to stand by the consumers to fight this Injustice usually melt to the customers by DISCOS and other stakeholders in the power sector to selectively obey the regulatory body order and directive contrary to section 63 (1&3) of the power sector reform act 2005.
“Our resolve first and foremost is to engage the various DISCOS and demand equitable approach and if our dialogue approach fails to yield the desired results, we will have no option than to approach the court of competent jurisdictions for appropriate actions against them on this matter.”
“We also call on Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to be alert to their monitoring and regulatory power, be more proactive as to making sure no stakeholder of NESI become subservient to one another, the Consumers who remain at the receiving end each time such moves are made albeit helplessly in contravention of section 32(2) of power sector reform act, 2005 which ensured that NERC play the role of an umpire without sentiment and with no detriment to other members of power sector players.”