Eko Disco frees cus­tomers of elec­tric­ity fixed charge …as NECAN flays planned tar­iff rise, scolds Abuja Disco

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Si­mon Echewo­fun Sun­day

The Eko Elec­tric­ity Dis­tri­bu­tion Com­pany (EKEDC) will free its cus­tomers from pay­ing the fixed charge (FC) com­po­nent of the tar­iff by Jan­uary 2016 in the 10Year Tar­iff Plan sub­mit­ted to the Nige­rian Elec­tric­ity Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion (NERC) on Mon­day.

The Daily Trust had once re­ported that EKEDC planned to con­vert the FC to pay­ment at kilo­watt per hour (kwh) where cus­tomers can only pay, along­side the energy charge (EC), as they con­sume power

NERC of­fi­cials, at a public con­sul­ta­tion on the tar­iff sub­mis­sions by the 11 Dis­cos in Abuja yesterday, how­ever, clar­i­fied Eko has abol­ished its FC com­pletely.

At the con­sul­ta­tion, the Na­tional Elec­tric­ity Con­sumers Ad­vo­cacy Net­work (NECAN) re­jected any planned in­crease in tar­iff, even as it scolded the Dis­cos for not me­ter­ing con­sumers and hav­ing low net­work in­vest­ments.

NECAN’s As­sis­tant Na­tional Sec­re­tary, Mr Obong Eko de­clared, “There is an out­cry from Nige­ri­ans that any in­crease in elec­tric­ity tar­iff will amount to very se­ri­ous con­se­quences to the econ­omy.”

The net­work ac­cused Abuja Disco of al­low­ing heavy col­lec­tion losses, while seek­ing for in­creased tar­iff. “We no­ticed that pri­va­ti­za­tion will lead to ef­fi­ciency but we are here in Abuja and we con­ducted a sur­vey where we dis­cov­ered that Abuja Elec­tric­ity Dis­tri­bu­tion Com­pany (AEDC) is not do­ing enough.

“Be­cause of in­ef­fi­ciency in the Disco, they have NEPA II en­gaged to work even when they are not on their pay­roll and these peo­ple in­vade com­mu­ni­ties in the Disco to col­lect monies,” NECAN said.

The NERC Chair­man Dr. Sam Amadi, as­sured that the Com­mis­sion would look into NECAN’s sur­vey as it is ev­i­dence­based. Dr Amadi main­tained that the con­sul­ta­tion does not amount to ap­prov­ing any tar­iff yet. “The Dis­cos can only con­tinue to col­lect these tar­iffs if their per­for­mance is also com­pli­ant with their busi­ness plans,” he main­tained.

Amadi re­minded the Dis­cos of strong sanc­tions for vi­o­lat­ing their op­er­at­ing terms, say­ing, “We will in­clude en­force­able Ser­vice Level Agree­ment (SLA) for ev­ery Disco. If a Disco fails to meet its SLA, then it loses the right to such a tar­iff.”

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