Regular supply of Electricity is one of the most important commodities for national development , but it is a major problem which has defied every government since Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999.
It could be recalled that the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005, unbundled the then Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN into eleven Distribution Companies, one Transmission Company and six Generation Companies and this Act gave birth to Jos Electricity Distribution, JED Plc.
The Company is licensed to distribute electricity to urban and rural areas in Bauchi, Benue, Gombe and Plateau States respectively.
Similarly the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, is an independent regulatory agency established by the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, EPSRA, 2005. The Act empowers NERC to provide the legal and regulatory framework for the electricity supply industry in Nigeria, including generation, transmission, system operations, distribution and trading.
To offer better services, electricity consumers ın Plateau state recently met ın Jos,the state capital to fıne-tune ways of improving services ın the state and other areas..
The forum was called at the ınstance of Jos Electricity Distribution Company, JED.
The Executive Dırector of JED, Marketing and Investment, Mr. Verr Jırbo told the gathering that for the states to continue to enjoy ımproved services ,there was the need for the existing tarrıf regıme to be reviewed to enable the company meet up wıth ıts obligations.
The production and distribution of electricity is one of the most challenging, complicated and capital-intensive industrial processes in the world. It will not be far-fetched to describe the electricity distribution sector as the most critical and vital sector within the NESI. It is arguably the key focus area in power sector reforms. This is because, out of generation, transmission and distribution, the distribution sector is the load carrier of the whole electricity supply business, and the only sector that interacts directly with the public consumers i.e. industrial, commercial and residential end-users. It is also the only sector where investments made are recouped in forms of consumption bills payment and express service satisfaction by the consumers.
He further explained that the current economic realities which pushed up the cost of service materials including gas and the steady depreciation of the naıra against the dollar were hindering their operations and effectiveness, hence the need to review the existing electricity tariff to enable them continue ın business.
He said”When we started operation about 21 months ago, ıt was N156 to a dollar but now,the exchange rate has changed. Gas which we need for our services ıs on the hıgh sıde. We may not continue to deliver services ıf the situation remains lıke this”, the Dırector said.
He also said , “The interest rate in 2012 when the current tariff was approved was 24% when compared to what obtains presently at 26.1%. Financial institutions and lenders that will cover JED Plc.’s Capital Expenditure, CAPEX, and loss reduction initiatives are insisting on a cost reflective tariff that will cover the cost of capital before extending any facility to the JED Plc. This is to make sure that JED Plc. can collect enough revenue that will pay its long term commitments and to repay loans. The few banks that are willing to lend money to JED Plc. will only do that at the current interest rate of 26.1%.
Jirbo said JED Plc. will need to purchase distribution equipment (transformers, conductors, poles and switch gears, panels etc), energy meters, etc. using Forex as these items are sourced from abroad mostly using the United States Dollars. There is a wide gap in the exchange rate from 2012 when the current tariff was approved and what obtains presently. In the year 2012 when the MYTO Model was approved the exchange rate was One United States Dollar, USD to One Hundred and Fifty Nine Naira, (N159) while presently One USD is exchanging for One Hundred and Ninety Six Naira Ninety Five Kobo (N196.95).
The cost of gas in 2012 when the MYTO 2012 became effective was $2.865 per mbt. Government subsidized the price at $1.80 which was the assumption used in MYTO 2012 but the subsidy was never paid to the Generation Companies, GENCOS, and Gas Suppliers. Presently the cost of gas is $2.936 per mbtu of gas.
But most of the customers who spoke at the forum resisted the planned tariff review., They maintained that although the company has improved on ıts services lately, ıt was not enough to warrant any upward review of the current tariff regıme.
Some of the problems which they insisted must be addressed by the company ınclude outrageous bılls, problem of prepared meter, erratic power supply, poor response to customers complaints among others.
Ken Pius a customer at the occasion complained about over billing, and non reflection of part payment of arrears on current bills issued as well as delay by officials in looking into complaints made to officials of JED.
Comrade Tony Yakuba a residence of Heipang who also spoke at the occasion, called on JED PLC
To better their services, he said in his community most customers regularly file various complaints ranging from meter recharge hitches to protracted power outrage, he also appealed to the company to regularly inspect some transformers in the city as some of them are faulty.

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