A group, the All Electricity Consumers Protection Forum, has urged the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to implement the cap on estimated billing alongside the upward review of their tariffs.
The group made the demand in a statement signed by its National Public Relations Officer, Mr Gideon Balogun, in Lagos.
DisCos had earlier announced plans to increase electricity tariffs for all categories of customers from July 1, 2020 following the approval by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
Balogun noted that the DisCos were being swift in implementation of the upward tariff review when most of them were yet to comply with the NERC order on capping of estimated billing issued since Feb. 20.
He said: “It is disheartening to see that DisCos will not waste time in doing this because it favours their operational business but will not as much give publicity to any NERC order that shifts toward consumer relief.
“Many of these DisCos are yet to implement the NERC order 197/2020 which indicates in Paragraph A that estimated billing has been repealed and replaced with capping order for Residential 2 and Commercial 1 customers without meters.
“We, therefore, demand that as they implement the increase in tariff on July1, the capping methodology approved by same NERC who empowered the DisCos to implement tariff increment must be obeyed in full and spirit of that order on capping.”
According to him, the electricity consumer group still believes that any increment in tariff ought not to have taken place now as customers are facing trying times due to the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.
Balogun said the group was committed to protecting the rights of electricity consumers, saying that it was unfair for the DisCos to selectively obey NERC’s regulations and orders.
“Our resolve first and foremost is to engage the various DisCos and demand equitable approach.
“If our dialogue approach fails to yield the desired results, we will have no option than to approach the court of competent jurisdiction for appropriate actions against them on this matter,” he said.
Balogun also called on NERC to be proactive in ensuring that all stakeholders in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry were treated fairly in line with the provision of Section 32 (2) of the Power Sector Reform Act, 2005.