Electricity tariff increment will improve quality of service ― IBEDC
• says tariff increase will not to affect all customers
In the face of the discontent trailing the recent introduction of Service Reflective Tariff (SRT) in Nigeria’s electricity industry, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) has clarified that the consequent increment in tariff will help Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to improve the quality of service they render.
It also said the increment will not affect all customers in its franchise.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the firm, John Ayodele, made this known during a media briefing where he provided clarifications on why the implementation had been long overdue.
According to him, the increment will not affect all segments of customers.
Customers have been grouped into bands A to E based on the average daily hours of electricity supply received daily over a period of a month and only those in bands A to C will be affected, for now, he said.
Group A customers are those who receive 20 hours and above, group B customers receive between16 and less than 20 hours, C receives 12 and less than 16 hours, D receives eight and less than 12 and E receive four and less than eight hours.
In order to ensure that those who receive better services pay more, groups D and E have been exempted from the increment, Ayodele said.
He further said that the increment is not meant to punish Nigerians but to make for more funds and enable DisCos to provide better services.
For years, he said, DisCos have endured heavy shortfalls and debilitating debts. The shortcomings of the old system had hindered the DisCos from having enough funds to invest in projects that would improve services and ensure more regular power supply, he explained.
For example, Ayodele said, DisCos endure a monthly shortfall of between N3 billion and N3.5 billion. In 2020 alone, they have a shortfall of N27 billion and a debt of N243 billion since privatisation, as of December 2019.
Before the latest introduction, the DisCos had not been able to recover and settle debts and this increased poverty in the system. It affected them heavily, he complained, because the investments required to improve services in the sector require huge capital which the DisCos don’t have.
On estimated billing, Ayodele said it doesn’t pay DisCos to estimate customers’ bills, arguing that they suffer losses because most customers are under-billed. He encouraged customers to get metered and avoid estimated billing.
He, however, noted that the expected improvement in service will not be immediate as it will take some time for the firm to get some of the equipment needed for an infrastructural upgrade.