No meter, no tariff increase – group tells govt

Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Power

An advocacy group, Consumer Rights Advancement Organisation (CRADO) has urged the Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to obey court order and halt any tariff increase until all electricity consumers in the country are metered.
Deolu Ogunbanjo, president of CRADO who made this call in a statement made available to the media noted that electricity distribution companies have continued to exploit Nigerians by the estimated and crazy billing system for majority of consumers while deliberately refusing to make available prepaid meters in accordance with the signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of November 2013, which stipulates that within 18 months gestation period, all consumers must have been metered.
Ogunbanjo who described the act as unlawful and a flagrant abuse of consumer rights wondered why electricity tariff should be increased when the extant law for such increment was not followed in consonance with section 76 of the Power Sector Reform Act, 2005.
The statement noted that there are Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) approved meter and transformer manufacturers who are deliberately not patronized by the electricity distribution companies in their bid to entrench the culture of exploitation against consumers.
The group charged Fashola to obey the subsisting NO INCREASE IN ELECTRICITY TARIFF court order of May 28 last year by Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos; negotiate with financial institutions to put more into their investments in the power business to boost electricity generation to 7,500 MW; and ensure that all electricity consumers are metered.
The CRADO president said “If these three things are done, people will not mind paying bills for the resultant Pay-as-you-use electricity service.”
He said the civil society organizations, non-governmental orgarnisations, the Nigeria Labour Congress, and the Trade Union Congress will continue their agitations until their demands are met, stressing that “Nigerians have been so much short-changed over the years on the issue of electricity”.
“Nigerians have been paying the highest tariff per kilo-watt in Africa and contiguous regions. We pay much higher than Egypt and countries with stronger economies,” he said.

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