By Francis Sardauna
Electricity consumers in Katsina State have rejected the proposed increment in electricity tariff by the Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO), citing lack of stable electricity supply as reason.
The consumers made their position known on Thursday in Katsina during a Public Consultation on the Extra Ordinary Tariff Review of the Multi year Tariff Order, organised by the company for stakeholders.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had directed the 11 electricity distribution companies in the country to increase their tariffs beginning from April this year.
The consumers described the proposed electricity tariff hike as daylight robbery considering what they termed the epileptic power supply in the state, particularly in rural communities.
One of the consumers, Ibrahim Dansuki, said the electricity distribution company was collecting money for the services they were not providing despite over billing of consumers.
He said: “I totally reject the increment in electricity tariff because it will do more harm than good. How can you increase electricity tariff when we hardly see light in our offices and houses?”
He urged the company to look inward and device means of addressing their challenges, rather than settling for tariff increment.
Another customer, Sanusi Imam of Dandagoro village, said the proposed increment would create more hardships for the poor and the lower class of the society.
According to him, “Increasing the electricity tariff at this material time will only add salt to an existing injury. So, KEDCO should look at other means of addressing their problems instead of increment.”
Responding, the Deputy Head of Strategic Group of the company, Mr. Mahmud Abubakar, said the increment would enable the company to provide better service to its consumers.
He said: “We are not proposing this increment on baseless grounds, rather we feel we can do better if we have more funds at our disposal.
”However, since most customers seem not to be at home with this proposed plan, we will go back, discuss with our regulators.”
In his remarks, the Special Adviser to Katsina State Government on Power and Energy, Mr. Mansur Muhammad Musa, said the state government had purchased over 376 transformers and installed in different communities across the state.