The management of Ikeja Electric (IE) and electricity consumers have disagreed on the proposed tariff review by the distribution company (DISCO).
The DISCO, at a forum, sought the understanding of consumers on its proposed tariff review but consumers differed on the proposal.
The chief executive officer of the company, Mr Abiodun Ajifowobaje, during a two-day forum on tariff review with stakeholders and consumers in Lagos, urged them to embrace a cost reflective tariff so that the company would serve them better.
Ajifowobaje said that the forum was part of what was designed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) as a process to determine new tariff structure for its consumers.
“Instead of the NERC to fix new tariff for electricity consumers, distribution companies should consult consumers in the different zones and come back for approval. Consequently, we have to consult you on the way forward,” he said.
He said that the DISCOs were just like a daily collector, adding that the majority of the money paid to them go to the generating companies (GENCOs) and Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
“Of every N100 collected from our consumers, only N15 goes to our pocket. We pay N65 to the GENCOs and TCN will take N15 while others like the NERC will share N10. So we will be left with only N15 out of which we pay our workers’ salary, replace faulty equipment, and other expenses. To be honest with you, because we do not have a cost reflective tariff, most of the DISCOs have not even paid the other chain,” Ajifowobaje said.
Reacting, the chairman, Ikeja Branch of the Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr Uche, said that it is wrong for the association to discuss tariff review as the case is in court. Uche said that tariff discussion was a no go area for them now.
On her own part, the chairman, Consumers Protection Forum, Ms Sola Salako, said that consumers had suffered in the hands of DISCOs. She said that although the investors were in business to make money, they should balance the equation.
In the same vein, the chairman, Community Development Committee, Ikorodu, Mr Laja Martins, said that consumers had a role to play in determining tariff review but urged consumers to use energy saving bulb to reduce their energy consumption.