The recent increase in electricity bills by power distribution companies is as a result of the stability in power supply in the past three months, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has explained.
Power generation in the country hit an all-time high of 4,810.7 megawatts on August 25, 2015. Prior to this peak generation, Nigeria’s electricity generation had hovered between 3,000MW and 3,500MW for years.
In the past two months, power consumers, especially those on estimated billing, had repeatedly complained that they were being over-billed by electricity distribution companies.
But reacting to the development, the Chairman, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, told our correspondent that he was aware of the complaints and explained that the marginal stability in power supply necessitated the increase in bills.
He, however, noted that the electricity tariffs had not changed and stated that customers who paid bills that were calculated based on illegal rates should contact the commission.
Amadi said, “The truth is that power has improved across the country. Many people inform me that they now have regular supply of electricity. I just want such people to realise that if they now experience stable electricity, their bills will go up because they are consuming more.
“But if you are paying a bill calculated based on an illegal tariff, complain to us. NERC is determined to stamp out such a behaviour.”
An indigenous survey firm, NOIPolls, in its latest report for the third quarter of 2015, which was released recntly, had stated that power supply across the country had improved.
The firm stated that the result of its findings showed “that about 64 per cent of Nigerian households attest to experiencing tremendous improvement in power supply over the third quarter (July-September) 2015. This value represents a huge increase by 37 points in this category of Nigerian households from the second quarter of 2015 where only 27 per cent saw any improvement.”
It, however, stated that despite the many reforms and huge sums of money sunk into the sector, culminating in the privatisation of the generation and distribution companies, there had been little improvement in the sector.
The NOIPolls stated that this had caused Nigerians to spend almost three times the cost of power supply from the distribution firms on alternate sources of power in the second quarter of this year.