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Tariff Increase: NSE Demands Harsh Penalties From DISCOs In Default



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Following the recent increase in Band A energy tariffs, the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has demanded severe penalties for electricity distribution companies (DisCos) who do not provide their consumers with the required minimum 20 hours of service.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, had last week raised tariff for customers in Band A from N68/kWh to N225kWh leading to outcry by the affected customers. But the government defended the decision saying it would lead to improved power supply by attracting investment to the sector.

The Commission also imposed a N200 million fine on the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, for increasing the tariff of customers in other bands not affected by the tariff hike.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Monday, the President, NSE, Engr. Margaret Oguntala explained that while the society was not against the tariff increase, customers must be protected with meters provided for those in the category.

Mrs. Oguntala insisted that the policy must be implemented in a transparent and accountable manner that ensures that customers are not short-changed.

According to her, “policies are made but what is the framework for implementing these policies? How effective are they in the long run? If there are no sanctions for the DisCos and you claim to be giving someone in Band A 20 hours of supply but you are not actually doing so, what happens?

“We are saying that there must be sanctions for defaults and do you do that? Where there are shortfalls, the DisCos must be held responsible which means that the metering must be very transparent. We have asked the question of what will happen during downtime when there are repairs? All these must be put into consideration for the policy to work”, she added.

She harped on the importance of helping indigenous companies to grow, stressing that that was the only way Nigeria could grow its economy and provide jobs for young Nigerians.

She said there was need to set up a construction fund with single digit interest rate that would finance projects for Nigerian companies.

The NSE Chief,who became the first woman to lead the group, said since she officially took over at the beginning of the year.

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