By Chuka Callys Mbamaluh
Electricity consumers in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa,Cross Rivers and Rivers States will pay a new tarrif with effect from July 1,2020.
This disclosure was contained in a statement issued by John Oyi, Manager, Corporate Communications,
Port-Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) which was obtained by Themeteornews.
The statement read:
“The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Plc wishes to notify its esteemed customers and members of the public in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers States that there will be an upward review of electricity tariff with effect from 1st July 2020. The review will affect all the categories of customers.”
“Tariff review has been a yearly order since 2015 when it was first reviewed after its introduction in 2008 by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, under Multi Year Tariff Order, MYTO, a framework for regulating the licensees [ Discos ] over a period of time based on; Fluctuation in forex market, Gas Pricing, Inflation rate and Generation Capacity.”
Mr Oyi said PHED has embarked on measures to improve electricity supply to customers in the affected States.
“In anticipation of the new tariff, Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Plc has embarked on a number of projects aimed at fortifying the network for seamless service delivery to its customers. One of such projects is the ongoing construction and reconfiguration of the network to evacuate 48 megawatts from Rumuosi Transmission Station in Port Harcourt.”
“With the new tariff, customers would definitely enjoy improved services, however, they are expected to pay more based on hours of availability that would remain sacrosanct in the business model of PHED.”
The company also used the medium to appeal to its customers to pay their monthly bills promptly to assist PHED deliver on its mandate.
“The Company therefore, appeals to its customers to cooperate and support it through prompt payment of electricity bill for the mutual benefits of all stakeholders in the electricity industry.”
Some respondents who spoke with Themeteornews, however, decried the said upward review of electricity tarrif by PHED.
They said the incessant review of tarrif is not commensurate with the services provided by the company.
“What is the need to increase tarrif when we don’t have power supply and yet, receive estimated bills monthly from PHED against the directives the National Electricity Regulations Commission,NERC which had clearly directed that all unmetered houses should not pay above N1,800.00 monthly?
They think we are fools,” the respondent said.
Another respondent gave a new dimension to the issue when he alluded that all PHED officials do in his area of residence is to come and collect bills and disconnect consumers.
” It is disheartening to note that in the area where I live,we bought all the poles,wires and installed transformers and still maintain same till date. What all these chaps do is to carry ladders about, collect money and disconnect people. As I speak with you,we have just bought another transformer with complete accessories which we are installing.As Secrectary of the Electricity Committee in my neighborhood ,I signed for it.”
“Going forward,this new tarrif increase is uncalled for because consumers are being exploited. We know what we go through to have a few hours of power supply here.If I reveal what I know, several persons will lose their jobs.”
Another one said: “When you go to them for transformers,they will ask you to help them collect half of the bills and collate lists of registered consumers in your area or outrightly tell you that they are expecting some transformers.
Waiting for them is like waiting for ever so we resort to self help.I think the best option available to us is to petition them to NERC and the National Assembly,” the respondent concluded.