Adewale Sanyaolu

Electricity consumers across the country looking forward to  some reprieve with the two -week suspension of the new Service Reflective Tariff by two weeks announced by the Federal Government got a rude shock of their lives when their electricity bill for the month of September shot up by over 100 per cent.

Miffed by the outragious billing, consumers including  those on estimated billing, prepaid, and post paid customers subsequently took to the various social media handles to express displeasure over the huge electricity tariff slammed on them by the Electricity Distribution Company (DisCos) for the month of September.

This was even as they demanded a robust metering programme to help address the issue of estimated billing on consumers in the wake of the new tariff regime.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had on September 1, 2020, announced a new regime of tariff for various consumers under its Service Reflective Tariff.

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The new SRT billing system which shot up tariff by almost 100 per cent further categorised consumers under various Bands of A, B, C, D and E with electricity supply hours per day as a means of computing tariff.

Agitation and stiff opposition by labour unions and civil society groups forced the Federal Government to suspend the increase for two weeks, effective September 28, 2020 with a further one week extension to give room for further deliberations.

A customer using prepaid meter who identified himself as Adeola Ajibade, said prior to the introduction of the SRT, he gets a value of 105 units for N3,000 which lasts him for one month but with the latest hike, which  reduced his energy count to about 60 units, lasted him for just two weeks.

The disturbed Egbiri Community Development Association (CDA) in new Oko-Oba, Abule Egba, Lagos, expressed displeasure over the September bill most consumers received from Ikeja Electric that shot up by over 100 per cent. Some of the residents who lamented over the outrageous bill said they received between N27,000 to N32,000 for a one-bedroom to two bedroom flat. A distraught customer who lives on Ololade Street under Ikeja Electric network who pleaded not to be named for fear of further victimization, lamented that after clearing her outstanding bill to zero Naira, she was surprised to get a bill of N32,324.21 for the month of September.