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Electricity Consumers Commend Aba Power for Maintaining Old Tariff

The Electricity Consumers Assocation of Nigeria (ECAN) has commended Aba Power for maintaining the 2023 electricity tariff even when every other power distribution company (DisCo) in Nigeria has increased the amount paid by Band A customers who receive a minimum of 20 hours of electricity daily by almost 300%.

“Though Aba Power Electricity (APLE) Limited began commercial operations only in September 2022, its business model has become exemplary”, the Southeast ECAN zonal chairman, Engineer Joe Ubani, and the secretary, Comrade Chris Okpara, said in a statement in Enugu this morning.

“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”.

NERC had on April 1, 2024, approved an increase from N68 per kilowatt hour (kWh) to N225 kWh, though it later reduced it to N206.8 kWh last week following severe public criticisms.

According to ECAN, Aba Power has retained the 2023 rate, which is about half of the new N206.8kWh tariff, because of its 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”, declared the electricity consumers association, “can have such consideration.

“Even Aba Power has its own challenges, having waited for 20 years to complete a three-year project because of 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”.

It described the costs that Aba Power chose to bear for continuing with the old tariff as enormous, saying it has run into hundreds of millions of naira already.

“This is immensely sacrificial”, it added.

ECAN has also thanked Aba Power for what it called its swift response to reports from concerned consumers that some persons who claim to be on the staff of the company have been collecting money from customers to install a mechanism to bypass their meters or make the meters capture only a fraction of energy consumed every month.

The association noted that once it brought the reports to the utility’s management, “they responded impressively.

“We are satisfied that the ongoing investigation is thorough, and the suspects are not really on the Aba Power staff, 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”.

Some unnamed persons were recently reported to be collecting N30,000 each from customers after installing prepaid meters so that the consumers would pay a small amount no matter the quantum of electricity they enjoy every month.

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