Before tariff hike: Improve power supply, Bauchi residents tell JEDCO
From Sule Aliyu, Bauchi
Bauchi residents have charged the management of Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JEDCO) to improve on its power supply instead of pushing for an increment in tariff.
There have been public outcry from consumers in the state over outrageous bills they receive at the end of the month, even when they have not been provided with meters by the company.
The electricity consumers made their views known recently at a public hearing organised by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on the procedure for electricity tariff review and business rules of the commission held in the state.
They described plans by the company to increase its tariff without commensurate increase in power supply as unfair.
They wondered why the company planned to increase electricity tariff considering that they get epileptic power supply and estimated billing for people who have no prepaid metres.
A resident of Fadamar Mada area in Bauchi metropolis, Comrade Sanusi Ahmad, said that the company should not expect their customers to be happy about the increase, when they only get power for two hours in a day.
His words: “How can you effectively deliver good services to your customers when you do not have enough vehicles and other equipment? Sometimes, I pay as high as N7, 000 light bill.
“Last month, my neighbour, who lives in a one-room apartment, was billed N9, 000. And we only got light for just one day from 11:00am to 6:00pm. How do you expect me to be happy about the increase and want to pay?”
Another electricity consumer, Buhari Mai Langa, complained that he sent over 40 messages of complaints to JEDCO, but that none was acknowledged.
Reacting to some of the complaints raised by the consumers, the Deputy Chief Technical Officer, JEDCO, Engr. John Emeruwa, said the company would critically look at the issues raised with a bid to improving power supply in the state.
Also speaking, its Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Uday Mishra, noted that the electricity tariff review is belated and should have been done over two years ago, adding that the company has been running at a loss, hence the need for the tariff increase.
“If we are billing, say N100 we are getting just N40. Can any business survive where you are pricing something for N100 and you are getting N40?
“That’s the real challenge and it is called commercial loss and this loss has to be controlled,” he said.