â€¢ Dismisses rumours of hike in tariff
Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The Jos Electricity Distribution (JED) Company has vehemently lamented the persistent vandalisation of its installed transformers and activities of consumers who bypass meters to evade charges for the energies they consume describing them as energy thieves.
Addressing journalists at the headquarters of the company in Jos yesterday, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the company, Alhaji Mohamed Modibo said: â€œSecurity agencies have been detailed to arrest and prosecute these criminals appropriately because their activities impede the progress of the company and the general progress of the societyâ€, adding that â€œwhen you steal electricity, the value chain suffers because our company also buys the energy it distributes.â€
He appealed to Nigerians to be patients with the federal government, noting that electricity has been neglected for a long time in the country, â€œso itâ€™s difficult to see the gains of the governmentâ€™s effort immediately.â€
Modibo also debunked the stories trending in the social media space that Jos Disco has increased tariff, describing it as â€œuntrue, incorrect and baselessâ€, adding that tariff will not be increased without first constructively engaging with customers.
He said, â€œThe companyâ€™s retail tariff remains within the same bracket as other distribution companies in the country and the current tariff regime has not changed since its approval by NERC after extensive customer consultation in December, 2015.â€
He asserted that if actual economic indices such as inflation and foreign exchange were to apply to tariff, consumers are likely to witness almost 100 per cent increase in the cost of electricity.
He maintained that â€œdespite these challenges and inability to recover cost coupled with negative cash flows, the companies were still investing to improve the network and quality of supply to customers.â€
Modibo also dismissed the rumours that customers in Plateau State pay higher tariff than other states that Jos Disco distributes energy to.
He explained that the company maintains uniform tariffs for its customers in all its franchise states of Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, and Plateau, stressing that, â€œthe allegation that we are charging different tariff and that Plateau tariffs are higher than what is obtainable in our other franchise states is not true.â€
He advised against peddling of unfounded rumours, which he said was capable of creating civil unrest, and called on the customers to work together with the company to protect their assets and contribute to the efforts of government in nation building.
The MD also added that Jos Disco was aggressively embarking on customer enumeration in order to have a robust database of its customers.