Jos Electricity Distribution Company Headquarters, in Jos, Plateau State

Improve power supply before raising tariffs, consumers urge JEDCo

Web Editor | ConsumerConnect

Electricity consumers in Bauchi State have charged the Management of Jos Electricity Distribution Company, JEDCo, to improve on its power supply instead of pushing for an increment in tariffs.

The consumers expressed their views Saturday, at a public hearing organised by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), on the proposed tariff increase in Bauchi State.

Vanguard reports that they described plans by JED to increase its tariff without commensurate increase in power supply as “unfair”.

They wondered why the distribution company planned to increase electricity tariff, considering that they get epileptic power supply and estimated billing for people who have no prepayment metres.

Lawal Ahmad, a resident of Gwallameji area of Bauchi metropolis, said that the distribution company (JEDCo) should not expect their customers to happy about the increase, when they only get power for two hours in a day.

“How can you effectively deliver good services to your customers when you do not have enough vehicles and other equipment? Sometimes, I pay as high as N7,000 light bill.

“Last month, my neighbour, who lives in one-room apartment, was billed N9,000. And we only got light for just one day from 11a.m. to 6p.m. How do you expect me to be happy about the increase and want to pay?”

Paul Titus, an electricity consumer, complained that he sent over 40 messages of complaint to JED, but that none was acknowledged.

He said: “I recently sent over 40 letters of complaints to your organisation, but got zero replies. Honestly, is frustrating.

“There are instances where residents are charged commercial tariffs, when they should be charged residential tariffs.”

In reaction to electricity consumers’ complaints, Engr. John Emeruwa, Deputy Chief Technical Officer, JEDCo, said the company would critically look at the issues raised with a bid to improve power supply in the state.

Engr. Uday Mishra, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of the DisCo noted that the electricity tariff review is belated and should have been done over two years ago.

The company has been running at a loss; hence the need for the tariff increase.

“We should have done this review over two years ago, but now we are going to review it given the inflation rate, given the investment required and, most importantly, given what we have lost in the industry.

He further disclosed that it is not all our bills that we get back. So to take care of these issues, tariff has to be reviewed. We have already submitted our plans to our regulator.

He stated that “we promise that if tariff increases, the supply situation will certainly improve.

“I am saying this with a little hesitation because the real challenge in this industry is not that tariff should be increased, but the loss level in the industry.

“If we are billing, say N100 we are getting just N40. Can any business survive where you are pricing something for N100 and you are getting N40?

“That’s the real challenge and it is called commercial losses, and this loss has to be controlled.”

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