DisCos struggle to satisfy Band A customers, other Bands neglected

Onwubuke Melvin
Onwubuke Melvin

Nigeria’s Electricity Regulatory Commission recently increased electricity tariff by 231 per cent for category A consumers. The new Multi-Year Tariff Order raised electricity rates for about two million customers from N68 per kilowatt to N255 per kilowatt.

The NERC has ordered the 11 distribution companies to publish their list of customers in Band A, which will have access to a minimum supply of 20 hours per day, following the removal of the power subsidy.

NERC and the Minister of Electricity, Adebayo Adelabu, have made it clear that there would be sanctions for distribution companies who fail to provide 20 hours of electricity per customer in Band A.

However, it is revealed that some of the DisCos have begun to divert a small portion of their allocation to Band A customers in their efforts to meet the service requirement amidst the gas shortage that has power generation unresolved.

Meanwhile, the IBEDC spokesperson, Busolami Tunwase, had recently said “One of the primary factors is the low supply of gas to generating companies, which has led to a gradual decrease in available generation on the grid. This has significantly reduced the power available on the transmission grid for onward supply to IBEDC and, in turn, greatly hindered our ability to provide power to customers within our franchise, namely Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Kwara, and partly in Kogi, Niger, and Ekiti States.”

It is reported that Our correspondent observed that electricity consumers had continued to complain of prolonged power outages in their areas.

A consumer in Niger State, identified as Mr Mojosas, complained to the AEDC that some parts of Minna, including Broadcasting Road, had been without power supply for over 24 hours as of Thursday.

In Ogun State, residents of Magboro, Makogi, Mowe, Abeokuta, and others said the electricity situation in their areas has been very poor with no improvement observed. since January.

A customer in Lokoja, Kogi State, @Alafinnuhu said: “Why is AEDC so insensitive towards her customer’s pains and complaints? You can’t imagine that we can’t enjoy supply during the day or night as they give us supply for just two hours around Lokongoma here in Lokoja, where most consumers use prepaid.”

According to the NERC’s directive, power companies declared every day that they were not able to meet the level of service due to TCN and technical glitches.

PHEDC issued a statement titled ‘Service shortfall’ which said “Kindly note the current service shortfall experienced in areas where we did not meet up with the contractual supply hours on 8th of April, 2024”.

The affected feeders were listed as Amika and Refinery lines with areas such as MM Highway, Mariam Road, Rumukwurushi, Aweto Guest House, Atali, Igwuruta Road, Rumuibekwe-Bori Road, Ahoada Road, Ogbonda, Aba-Road, Eleme Junction, Eneka, New-layout Eneka Road, Igwuruta-Ali, affected.

The Kaduna DisCo said it has set up teams to rapidly respond to downtime for Band A feeders.

According to a statement issued by the company’s Head of Corporate Communication, Abdulazeez Abdullahi setting up the rapid response team is part of Kaduna Electric’s efforts to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the Band A customers whose tariff has just been adjusted.

Also, Customers in Band B to E complained that they had been neglected.

In the meantime, TCN disagreed with IBEDC, arguing that it should not be held responsible for its inability to provide 20 hours of electricity for customers in Band A.

TCN spokesperson, Mrs Ndidi Mbah, said she was aware that some DisCos were blaming the TCN, saying that investigations were ongoing to confirm their claims.

Mbah said, “IBEDC’s publication on April 9, 2024, across its social media platforms, attributing its inability to deliver estimated hours of supply to its customers is incorrect.

“The feeders mentioned in the publication are not within the TCN network. This means that most of the listed feeders in the publication are 11 kV and operated by IBEDC, completely outside TCN’s operational control and in IBEDC’s network.”

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