The Eko Electricity Distribution Company on Saturday urged electricity consumers to brace up for upward adjustment in tariffs to partly meet the reality of the prevailing economic situation.
Oladele Amoda, EKEDC’s chief executive officer, made the plea in Lagos at a stakeholders’ consultative forum with the customers on the need to adjust electricity tariffs.
Currently, the company is charging N26 per kilowatts for a residential building.
Justice Mohammed Idris of Federal High Court in Lagos had on Thursday renewed an earlier order restraining the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission from implementing the new electricity tariff.
NERC had proposed tariff increase effective from June 1, but the judge restrained NERC and the electricity distribution companies from making any increment.
Mr. Idris gave the order in a ruling on an ex-parte application filed by a Lagos lawyer, Toluwani Adebiyi, against increase in electricity tariff.
EKEDC chief said, “There is no way we can have stable power supply without adjusting our tariffs, because currently, we are running at a loss. The company is being run at a loss since its inception, because our investors had invested lots of money into the system which has not reflected on the supply distribution chain to the customers.
“When you look at the economic indices, there is high increase of dollars in terms of exchange rate against naira, while prices of other things have also gone up. Most of our equipment like transformers, cables, lines and so on, are being imported, and the cost effect of rising dollars had affected the cost of these materials.
“Gas supply is also another issue which has been increased drastically by gas suppliers and they now feel reluctant to sell gas to industrialists due to price differential. Except Federal Government stabilises the prices of gas and other things like importation, that is the only way the tariff adjustment can be stopped. But we cannot just commence increase of electricity tariff without informing the regulators which will in turn fix the appropriate tariffs”.
In their responses, Sunday Durosimi, who represented Festac Housing Estate, and Oluwole Alfred, the representative of Lekki Estate, advised the company to have a rethink on the adjustment initiative.
They said that customers would not take it lightly with the company if after the tariff adjustment there was no improvement in the electricity supply within their networks.