Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) yesterday said with the new billing regime, which is expected to commence soon, electricity consumers would experience an increase of between 35 to 50 percent in their electricity tariffs.
The distribution company, which covers Abuja, Niger, Kogi and Nasarawa States, said it would require at least N43 billion investment to ensure steady supply of electricity to the residents of its four coverage states, noting that it had also increased revenue collection to almost N7 billion every month because of the efficient processes it has put in place.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of AEDC, Mr. Ernest Mupwaya, explained in an interactive session with journalists in Abuja that it had become increasingly difficult to continue with the drive to install metres in every home because of the 45 percent tariff imposed on imported meters by the federal government.
He added that ensuring an efficient metering system remains one of the most viable ways to ensure losses are curtailed in the industry, noting that the company had invested heavily in equipment and personnel development in the last couple of years.
Mupwaya said the current subsidy being paid by the federal government was not sustainable, insisting that without an increase in electricity tariff, the Discos would find it difficult to cope.
The company disclosed that it had so far distributed about 250,000 meters, stressing that with the rate the company was going and if the tariff currently harming the importation of meters is reduced, the goal of metering more homes would be achievable.
However, he added that to ensure 24-hour power supply, the entire industry must be willing to play their parts by improving on the entire supply chain.
“The supply of 24-hour power supply is not entirely in our hands because we are a distribution company. It’s in the domain of the entire industry. The tariffs will go far in improving the entire supply chain. We need at least N43 billion worth of investment to be able to get to where consumers will be satisfied,” he said.
The AEDC said massive investment was needed to revamp the energy sector, but noted that investors were scared of coming in because they were not sure of returns on their investment.
“We need a business where we can be sure. Any business which is unable to meet its cost obligations is not sustainable in the long term. The current calculation states that there’s a government subsidy but it is not sustainable in the long term. What should come to mind is that subsidies consume resources which should have benefitted the society in a different way,” he noted.