Businesses, KEDCO set for collision over move to implement new electricity tariff
Businesses in the commercial city of Kano are set for a showdown with the Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) over the new electricity tariff the company is set to commence its implementation on Wednesday. The main issue fuelling misunderstanding between the two groups is what is seen by most businesses in the state as the general lack of clarity in the process leading to the new tariff regime KEDCO is set to implement. The management of the distribution company has since begun its readiness to commence the implementation of the revised electricity tariff, assuring that the new initiative will guarantee quality services, improved power supply, availability, and reliability across Kano franchise areas. According to the company, the ‘Services - Reflective Tariff’ is based on guaranteed hours of the power supply that will eventually deliver higher hours of quality service delivery, and will ensure that all our customers get maximum satisfaction from KEDCO. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had earlier approved April this year as the implementation date for the new tariff regime by the 11 electricity distribution companies across the country, but the implementation was later shifted to July as a result of public outcry. Latest data obtained by Businessday indicate that the Discos have been experiencing tariff shortfall to the tune of about N545 billion since the beginning of the year, a development that is triggering the zeal for the implementation of the new tariff by the companies. However, most business owners in Kano say they have not been fully consulted about the implementation of the new tariff by the management of KEDCO, an indication that the implementation of the tariff might not enjoy an easy sail in the state. Responding to Businessday’s inquiry on the preparedness of businesses in the state to for the implementation of the new tariff, Suleiman Umar Tofa, managing director, Tofa Textile, one of the medium-scale textile manufacturing companies, disclosed that most businesses in the state were in the dark about the policy. Suleiman, who was the immediate past chairman of the Bompai branch of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), noted that industrial consumers of electricity in the state want an explanation on how the Discos intend to go about it. “As, I am talking to you now, the management of KEDCO is yet to consult with the industrial consumers, like us, on the issue of the new tariffs. We are only just hearing of the proposed tariff hike in the news, like any other stakeholder. “We need to be carry along, so as to assure us on what will happen if the company is unable to deliver on the promise made on performance. Some of the questions agitating our minds are what the company failed to deliver or it is delivering power that is below the quality require to run our plants”, he pointed out. KEDCO in a document obtained by Businessday stated that the Services- Reflective Tariff to be implemented is based on guaranteed hours of power supply that will eventually deliver higher hours of quality service delivery which will ensure that all our customers get maximum satisfaction. In the document signed by Ibrahim Sani Shawai, head, Corporate Communications of the company said that consumers currently enjoying higher hours of supply are expected to pay more, to commensurate with the hours of supply.