Tariff Hike: NSE Demands Stiff Sanctions For DisCos Defaulting On Specified Supply

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Amidst recent hike in electricity tariff for customers in Band A, the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has called for stiff sanctions on electricity distribution companies (DisCos), which fail to meet the minimum 20 hours of supply to the customers.

Reactions and resistance have greeted the announcement of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), which last week raised tariff for customers in Band A from N68/kWh to N225kWh.

The government had made attempt at defending the decision, saying it would lead to improved power supply by attracting investment to the sector.

The NERC also imposed a N200 million fine on the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, for increasing the tariff of customers in other bands not affected by the tariff hike.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Monday, the President, NSE, Engr. Margaret Oguntala explained that while the society was not against the tariff increase, customers must be protected with meters provided for those in the category.

Mrs. Oguntala insisted that the policy must be implemented in a transparent and accountable manner that ensures that customers are not short-changed.

According to her, “policies are made but what is the framework for implementing these policies? How effective are they in the long run? If there are no sanctions for the DisCos and you claim to be giving someone in Band A 20 hours of supply but you are not actually doing so, what happens?

“We are saying that there must be sanctions for defaults and do you do that? Where there are shortfalls, the DisCos must be held responsible which means that the metering must be very transparent. We have asked the question of what will happen during downtime when there are repairs? All these must be put into consideration for the policy to work.”

She said there was need to set up a construction fund with single digit interest rate that would finance projects for Nigerian companies.

The NSE Chief, who became the first woman to lead the group, said since she officially took over at the beginning of the year, the NSE has moved engage the government and private companies on building the capacity of young engineers to effectively work in the local economy.

She disclosed that so far among other entities, the NSE has been able to secure collaborations with the “Federal Ministry of Women Affairs for advocacy for Vocational Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (V-STEM) education, especially amongst female children. The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for partnership on specialised training on skills for young engineers.

Others she highlighted were “Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) for partnership on advancement of renewable energy solutions at the National Engineering Centre. Federal Ministry of Water Resources for partnership on hosting of the 6th African Regional Conference on Irrigation and Drainage, and event of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID).

“Royal Academy of Engineering (UK) for partnership on planning and execution of the 2024 World Engineering Day, with the theme “Engineering for a Sustainable World.”

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