Some electricity consumers in Kaduna on Tuesday kicked against the proposed increase of electricity tariff.
The consumers made their stand known during a public hearing on the application made by the Kaduna Electric to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for electricity tariff review.
The public hearing had the theme: “Investment toward improvement of power supply and quality service in the Nigerian Electricity supply industry’’.
Malam Buba Umar- Yazah from Kwaru area of Kaduna said he was not in support of the proposed increase in electricity tariff due to lack of steady supply of power in his area.
He complained of inadequate transformers and high estimated bills, saying consumers were being made to pay for electricity they did not receive.
Another consumer, Mrs Maryam Madami stated that the issue of over-billing by the electricity distribution company must be addressed first before any move to review the tariff.
She noted that if people were paying for what they consume and also getting adequate power supply, the increment wouldn’t be an issue.
Also, Mr Banjo Adewale, another consumer stated that the proposed percentage increase for electricity was high considering the economic situation in the country.
He urged the electricity distribution company to propose a minimal increase that would be affordable by the masses and provide more transformers for communities with too much load.
Earlier, Mr Sanusi Garba, the Vice Chairman NERC, stated that the commission was in Kaduna to listen to both the electricity distribution company and consumers on the proposed tariff review.
He noted that the commission was created to regulate electricity and protect consumers, adding that decision would be made in March on the comments made by consumers on Kaduna Electric’s application.
“We have put out an advertisement by inviting all consumers that have been compelled to buy transformers, cable or poles to complain directly to the commission because that is not allowed.
“Distribution companies would be compelled to pay you with energy, and that’s what the regulation provides “, he said.
On his part, the Managing Director, Kaduna Electric, Mr Garba Haruna, stated that their request for tariffs increase was due to rise in the cost of gas and hike in tariffs by generation and transmission companies.
He noted that the Kaduna franchise had requested for more power so as to increase the level of their services, adding that the company was ready to make their customers happy.
“We cover four states; Kaduna Zamfara,Sokoto and Kebbi states covering 84 local governments with a population size of 20 million”, he said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tariff review was based on classifications, with R2 single phase to rise from N26.38 per kwh to N38.67 per kwh and R2 three phase from N28.05 per kwh to N45.63 per kwh.
NAN also reports that NERC had on Feb. 20, ordered the capping of estimated billing by Discos which would reduce arbitrary billing.(NAN).