By Ola Ajayi, Ibadan
Several electricity consumers in Oyo State have rejected the proposed increase in tariff of power supply being prepared by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company.
After the distribution company had sent its application for upward review of tariff to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, the body then invited electricity consumers in Ibadan to a public hearing at Jogor Centre, Ibadan where IBEDC presented reasons for possible review of the tariff.
The Chairman of the panel of NERC, Commissioner Musiliu Olalekan Oseni had hardly finished his welcome address when consumers started presenting their complaints about lackluster performance of IBEDC in the distribution of energy.
Almost all the statistics churned out by IBEDC through Mr Deolu Ijose were faulted by the consumers.
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Though, IBEDC listed its myriad of problems why it could not meet the electricity demands of the people, its claim that unless the tariff was increased, the distribution company would not be able to perform as expected, was rubbished by the consumers.
Part of the problems which Mr Ijose highlighted inclBank the purchase of energy which was pegged at N9.7 since 2015; loss of N38.9bn in 2019; need to repay loan borrowed from the Central Bank of Nigeria; shortfall in collection of tariff running into N81bn and stealing of energy among others.
He proposed that a new tariff of over N31 would be charged.
Reacting to the proposal, Mr Ololade Hamzat Adebimpe from Oyo Parapo argued there was no need for tariff increase but that the IBEDC should ensure supply of prepaid meter and block all loopholes through which some of its staff plunder the funds meant for the company.
Other speakers like Abiodun Bamigboye, a human right activist, Adebayo Adegbite, from Initiative for Sustainable Infrastructure Development; and Alhaji Yusuf Adebayo from Monatan all concluded that there was no need for tariff increase.
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