The management of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company on Tuesday said it had reduced the monthly fixed charges on its consumers by 50 per cent.
Abiodun Ajifowobaje, the Managing Director of the company, disclosed this at a Stakeholders Consultative Forum and presentation of cost reflective tariff in Lagos.
Ajifowobaje said the company had submitted the reduction proposal to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission for approval.
According to him, Ikeja Electric has reduced the fixed charge of 50 per cent from customers bills by increasing the energy charge (KW/h).
He said: “Customer number and the percentage growth rate has been determined based on the anticipated outcome of the enumeration project currently in progress.
“Billed customer numbers would double in the next two to three years and will thereafter increase by about 3.5 per cent.”
The CEO urged the consumers within the zone to embrace cost reflective tariff to enable the company to serve them better.
He said the company was being constrained by the present tariff regime, which was not cost reflective.
Ajifowobaje said the new proposed tariff would address some of the lingering challenges in customers billing, adding that residential charges had been grouped into R1, R2, R3 and R4 categories.
He said customers would no longer be billed based on uniform categorisation but based on the electricity consumption in particular locations.
He said: “We cannot have zero charges.
“There is no place in the world that pays zero charges on fixed charges.”
He said the company in the next five years planned to install 600,000 new meters, connect 592,000 new customers and reduce losses from 33 per cent to 14 per cent as part of its metering investment plans.
He said the Advance Metering Infrastructure had been fully installed and commissioned, while the pilot smart meter installation of 2,000 units was also completed successfully.
Ajifowobaje said: “Energy Accounting meter installation at feeders has been completed, mass meter roll out commenced in August – 6,000 units already installed.
“Our target is to achieve monthly meter installation of 15,000 units.”
He said the company has earmarked between N2 billion and N3 billion investment plans for all ongoing projects.
Ajifowobaje called on customers and community leaders to support the company in canvassing for energy conservation in their respective locations, while appealing to customers to always switch off their appliances to avoid wastage.
However, some of the stakeholders at the forum kicked against the management’s proposal to increase electricity tariff, adding that the forum was a violation of court process when the case was before a Federal High Court.
They advised the management to step down the issues of tariff reviews pending the determination of the case.
Rotimi Owolabi, the Chairman of Ijede, Ikorodu Community Development Area, advised the management to ensure the installation of pre-paid meters to all customers to avoid estimated billing.
Owolabi said series of forums had been held in the recent time on the way forward but nothing was done by the management, adding that anything short of metering installation to all homes would be an aberration.
He said: “We will start turning down bills on estimation if urgent solution is not taken.
“We are the electricity providers of our communities.
“We buy virtually every thing.
“Yet, we are forced to pay for the services not rendered.”
News Agency of Nigeria reports that a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has adjourned till November 24 a suit challenging the proposed increment in electricity tariff.
A Lagos-based lawyer, Toluwani Adebiyi, instituted the action in May, following the announcement of the proposed hike by the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi.
Adebiyi is praying the court to stop any hike in electricity tariff until there has been a meaningful and significant improvement in power supply to at least 18 hours in a day in most Nigerian communities.
Justice Mohammed Idris had on May 28, 2015 restrained NERC from giving effect to the proposed hike pending the determination of the suit.