Some energy experts on Monday faulted the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (NERC) recent pronouncement that Distribution Companies (DISCOs) could now use the cost of operations to peg their tariffs.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the suggestion could create anarchy because the DISCOs would implement policies that favour their operations.
NAN reports that the Chairman of NERC, Dr Sam Amadi, had on April 8 said that DISCOs could fix their tariffs in consultation with consumers and subject to the approval of the commission.
Amadi made the pronouncement in Abuja at the end of the commission’s monthly meeting.
The immediate past President, Nigerian Institution of Electrical Electronics Engineers, NIEEE, Mr. Adekunle Makinde, said that NERC was deviating as a regulator if DISCOs were allowed to fix electricity tariffs.
“NERC is not doing their work of regulating the electricity tariffs again; instead, they are given the investors free hands to fix the tariffs and this can lead to disorder in the sector.
“Presently the consumers all over the country are complaining that the present tariff structure is unacceptable and you are delegating your functions to DISCOs.
“These are investors who will not stop at making profit at all cost.
“This directive will definitely result to anarchy because the DISCOs would want something that will favour them, while consumers will not want to be cheated,’’ he said.
Chairman, Topean Energy Solution, Ikeja, Lagos, Mr. Yomi Kolawole, said that it was not possible for DISCOs to consult consumers before fixing tariffs because it would not work.
“I don’t know how they will achieve this because it is not possible to gather all consumers together and be fixing the price of tariffs with them.
“I think NERC is not sincere with their new directives.
“In March, the chairman came out to tell consumers that they have slashed the tariff by 50 per cent and now the DISCOs will fix it.
“This has indicated that they do not know what they are doing in that place,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Pekun Adeyanju, the Assistant General Manager of Ikeja Electric, told NAN that the DISCO had not received any directive from NERC on the new electricity tariffs.
“We only heard it on television and read it on newspaper; we are still awaiting the NERC directives.
“We are not part of the meeting, it was only for power generation and TCN,’’ he said.
Mr Godwin Idemudia, the Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs Division of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), also said that they had yet to get any directive from NERC.
Idemudia said that he could not comment further on the new tariffs fixing system. (NAN)

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