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Tariff Increase Sparks Dispute Between TCN and DISCOs Over 20-Hour Supply Failure

Tariff Increase Sparks Dispute Between TCN and DISCOs Over 20-Hour Supply Failure
  • Band A Consumers Protest Insufficient Supply, Demand Downgrade
  • Consumer Network Reports Total Supply Remains Inadequate
  • PowerUp Nigeria Urges Government to Raise Awareness Among Consumers and Others
  • DISCOs to Establish Response Team
  • Electricity Workers Call for Tariff Hike Reversal to Prevent Further Hardship
  • Threaten Nationwide Power Shutdown in Response to Attacks on Colleagues

With Band A customers expressing frustration over the failure of Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to fulfill the 20-hour minimum supply requirement, several communities have approached their respective DisCos, requesting to be downgraded to Band B.

These communities argue that since they are not receiving the promised 20 hours per day, they should not be obligated to pay the N225 per kilowatt-hour tariff increase mandated by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

However, investigations by Vanguard suggest that the entire blame cannot be placed on the DisCos, as the power allocation from the upstream value chain has significantly decreased. This reduction has made it challenging for the DisCos to meet the minimum supply benchmark.

Data provided by the Independent System Operator over the weekend revealed that load allocation to the eleven DisCos stood at 2,989 Megawatts, a notable decrease from the 4,200MW average required to fulfill the tariff requirement.

The data revealed that Abuja Disco received the highest allocation of 461 MW, down from the previous 611 MW. This was followed by Ikeja Electric at 455 MW, Eko DisCo at 387 MW, Ibadan DisCo at 360 MW, Benin DisCo at 245 MW, and Enugu DisCo at 216 MW.

Other allocations included Port Harcourt DisCo at 213 MW, Kano DisCo at 202 MW, Kaduna Electric at 195 MW, Jos DisCo at 170 MW, and Yola DisCo at 85 MW.

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Meanwhile, a source from Eko DisCo stated that the company was meeting the prescribed minimum of 20 hours but clarified that they sometimes supply more than the minimum on certain days and reduce the excess supply the following day. This practice may have led consumers to perceive under-supply. The source advised consumers to track average supply over time.

TCN and DisCos Exchange Blame

On the issue of failure to meet the 20-hour minimum supply demand, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) publicly disagreed with DisCos. Benin, Ibadan, and Port Harcourt DisCos had attributed the failure to challenges faced by TCN.

However, TCN stated that faults mentioned by the DisCos were not under its control. For instance, TCN clarified that faults at the Amukpe and Effurun transmission stations were caused by issues at the DisCos’ end, not TCN’s.

Total Supply Remains Insufficient — Consumer Network

Mr. Kunle Olubiyo, President of Nigeria Consumer Protection Network, highlighted challenges in meeting the demand of 20 million to 30 million electricity consumers in Nigeria, even with an estimated peak supply of 5,800 MW. He commended NERC’s proactive approach but urged them to compel DisCos to provide detailed receipts to consumers.

Band A, Others Were Proposed in 2020 — PowerUp Nigeria

Adetayo Adegbemle, Executive Director of PowerUp Nigeria, emphasized the need to invest in infrastructure for better power delivery. He explained the band system introduced in 2020, which categorizes areas based on infrastructure quality and energy consumption.

DisCos to Set Up Response Teams

DisCos are required to establish rapid response teams to ensure effective service delivery. Failure to meet the committed service level for seven consecutive days will result in automatic downgrade.

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Reverse Hike to Avert Further Misery, Suffering — Electricity Workers

Workers in the power sector called for the reversal of the 300 percent electricity tariff hike, citing socioeconomic repercussions. They warned of a nationwide power shutdown without notice if any colleague is attacked over the tariff hike.

Source: NaijaChoice News

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