Consumers hail Aba Power for retaining old tariff

The Electricity Consumers Association of Nigeria (ECAN) has commended Aba Power Electricity (APEL) for retaining the 2023 electricity tariff notwithstanding the April 3, 2024 electricity tariff increase on Band A on other power Distribution Companies (DisCo) in the country by almost 300 per cent. NERC had approved an increase from N68 per kilowatt hour (kWh) to N225 kWh on Band A segment, which was subsequently reduced to N206.80/kwh last week.

According to ECAN, by not increasing the tariff, Aba Power has shown consideration for its customers, especially manufacturers who have been facing various challenges in their businesses of late.

“Only a firm with a high sense of corporate social responsibility can have such consideration. Though Aba Power Electricity (APEL) Limited began commercial operations only in September 2022, its business model has become exemplary.”

“For a new DisCo to continue with the 2023 rate for all customers the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has approved a new significant tariff regime, despite the economic vicissitudes Nigeria has been going through, is nothing short of extraordinary patriotism and deserves commendation by all and sundry,” the Southeast ECAN zonal chairman, Joe Ubani, and the secretary, Chris Okpara, said in a statement.

The ECAN statement noted that it is not oblivious of the challenges the APEL is facing especially for its 20 years wait to complete a three-year project due to what it called “enormous vested interests.”

“Yet, the utility has the presence of mind to consider the interests of industrialists so that they can pass the benefits to the Nigerian people in these trying times. The cost being borne by APEL for continuing with the old tariff is enormous, and this is immensely sacrificial,” the ECAN statement said.

The Association also hailed the firm for what it called its swift response to reports from concerned consumers over inducement from some alleged staff of the firm who were alleged to have been extorting money from customers to assist them to bypass their meters or make the meters capture only a fraction of energy consumed every month.

“We are satisfied that the ongoing investigation is thorough, and the suspects are not really on the payroll of APEL, but may be working for various firms contracted to install some 200,000 prepaid smart meters free of charge in nine of the 17 local government areas in Abia State serviced by Aba Power,” ECAN said.

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