‘Discos need higher electricity tariff to survive’
Electricity distribution companies in the country will face a bleak future unless the current electricity tariff is reviewed upward.
Addressing participants at the extraordinary meeting on tariff review organised by Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company in Osogbo, Osun State, the company’s Head Customer Services, Ayo Adio, said Discos were reeling in debt caused by energy theft and unsustainable tariff.
Adio said a unit of electricity bought at the rate of N28 from the generation companies was being sold at less than N25 to the consumers, making the company to record loss on every unit sold.
He added that energy theft and non-payment of electricity bill by customers had added to the challenges faced by the company.
According to him, out of N95.48bn energy bought 2019, the amount paid by customers was N56.58bn, leaving the company with a debt of N38.9bn.
He said, “Despite this situation, we are expected to improve power infrastructure and deliver safe regular power to our customers. Distribution companies can’t survive in this kind of situation.
“The banks are not even willing to lend us money. The way out is upward review of electricity tariff. When that is achieved, we will be able to improve power infrastructure and function more efficiently.”
Responding to complaints by customers that meters were not delivered years after payments were made, Adio said the company would deploy 585,539 meters this year, adding that N6bn would be invested in infrastructure if tariff review was approved.
A customer, Debo Akanbi from Ede, advised that the power firm should not implement a new tariff plan in Osun, because “majority of the consumers are low-income earners.”