By Desmond Ejibas
Port Harcourt, Sept. 3, 2020 Customers in four states will now pay more for electricity as the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) on Thursday announced a new electricity tariff for customers.
Mr John Onyi, PHED’s Manager, Corporate Communication said in a statement in Port Harcourt that customers in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers states were affected by the new price regime.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the new tariff is coming three months after the tariff hike implementation slated for July 1 was halted by the National Assembly.
The lawmakers had prevailed on the distribution companies to shelve the date to the first quarter of 2021 due to the current economic challenges in the country.
Under the present regime, customers are categorised into maximum demand and non-maximum demand customers, and they would be charged based on the hours of electricity supply available to them.
Onyi insisted that users would pay the new tariff, in spite of calls by Nigerians and some industry stakeholders to delay implementation of the new price regime.
He said: “PHED started the implementation of the new electricity tariff in line with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (NERC) Extraordinary Tariff Review.
“The implementation is based on the issuance of the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) 2020 for PHED, which took effect from Sept. 1.
Onyi said under the new tariff regime, customers have been categorised into five groups, adding that they would be charged based on hours of availability of electricity to their homes and offices.
“Each of these bands (groups) has three classes of customers, namely, Non-Maximum Demand (Non-MD), as well as Maximum Demand (MD) 1 and 2.
“Non-MD, MD 1 and MD 2 represent customers previously known as residential (single and three phases); schools/churches and industrial customers, respectively,” he said.
The PHED spokesman further explained that residential customers on Band A category, who presently receive a minimum of 20 hours electricity daily, would pay N55. 20.
He said that customers on MD bands such as schools, churches, supermarkets and those using street lights would pay N54.80, while industrial customers like manufacturing companies would pay N52.20.
“Also, customers on Band B and Band C categories, who presently get a minimum of 16 hours and 12 hours of power supply per day, respectively, are expected to pay an increased tariff.
“Customers on Band D and E categories, who receive eight and four hours power supply daily, will remain on the old tariff structure pending further directive from NERC,” he said.
Onyi said that MYTO was introduced in 2008 to review electricity tariff annually based on inflation rate, currency exchange rates, gas price and electricity generation capacity.
He appealed to customers in the four states to cooperate and support the company by paying their electricity bills regularly.