Bad question. 60% of you don’t have it at all and the remaining 40% see it only
rarely. God will judge the matter. But stay with me as I explain a few things
about the little electricity we have.
CONTROLS NIGERIAN ELECTRICITY?
This one is complex. There are companies which were once part of the old NEPA
that you know, broken into Generation companies (those who generate the light)
and DISCOS or Distribution Companies (those who make sure the light, or
darkness reaches your house). To control all these guys and make sure things
run according to the law there is the oga at the top, NERC, Nigerian
Electricity Regulation Commission. NERC makes sure people pay the right price
for electricity and that everything goes according to plan. Don’t ask me what
that plan is.
THIS NEW PREPAID METER BUSINESS?
used to have NEPA officials come to your house and ‘read your meter’. They used
to ask you how many boiling ring you get? How many deep freezer? And then slam
you a random bill. The new meter makes sure that you pay for only what you use
plus a little something called a fixed charge.
FIXED CHARGE AGAIN?
down. You know that people bought over these distribution companies. The
investment they make in equipment and keeping that equipment running needs to
be recovered somehow. The fixed charge should not last forever. It is a little
less than 1,000 naira every month because the cost of the investment is spread
over many years. So it is possible that when this cost is recovered you will
stop paying the fixed charge. Maybe 10 years. Maybe 15. Who knows. That is why
you should live healthy and use moringa. So that you will live to see what
electricity will be in future.
SHOULD I GET A PREPAID METER?
Don’t you want to pay for only what you use?
I PAY FOR A METER?
ogas at the top in NERC say no. But sometimes because it is slow in coming,
some people who can’t wait for the normal process may pay to make sure they get
the meter. However you are supposed to get that money back.
DON’T I HAVE LIGHT NOW?
distribute electricity, the companies rely on fuel- gas. Because the ogas at
the top who control everything in electricity- NERC- don’t have control over
gas, sometimes, they have shortage and cannot distribute the electricity they
have. Sometimes, vandals break gas pipelines and this too creates a shortage.
DON’T NERC CONTROL GAS? IN THE UK, THE PEOPLE WHO CONTROL ELECTRICITY, CONTROL
around. This is not the UK. It was proposed but people in the petroleum
industry didn’t want to have gas removed from their control and we all know how
powerful they are. So now we have the funny situation of control of electricity
without control of gas upon which electricity companies depend. Not funny at
THIS THING THEY CALL MYTO?
means Multi Year Tariff Order. It is a system of calculating how much you will
pay over a period of time. Every year, minor reviews are done based on how much
gas prices are or what the inflation rate is. The major review is done every 5
years and it will take into account everything and set new prices. Why they
call it this complicated name beats me. Why not just Tariff Order?
COME THE OGA AT NERC SAID SOME PART OF THE BILL HAS INCREASED BUT SOME PART HAS
You were listening. Your electricity bill is made up of a few parts, one of
which is the fixed charge or wholesale charge (or the cost of generation). That
charge is different from the retail tariff which is the cost of transmission
and distribution of electricity. So, the fixed charge has been reduced
effective May 21, ranging from 17-50% depending on where you live. This is because,
the minor reviews of the MYTO showed that the country was not as bad as they
thought it would be so they don’t use as much for generation. Things like
inflation and exchange rate is better than they thought it would be. However
the retail tariff has actually increased. Why? After the minor review they
found that the “available generation capacity”, was 4306 MW. This means the
maximum amount of electricity they have to distribute. Their projection was
that they will have 9061 MW to distribute, which would mean more money for them
and cheaper electricity because they have more electricity to sell. Now, they
use the same amount of money to distribute less than half of the electricity
they thought they would have. This whole story means, you the consumer will
have to bear the cost of this loss. It is not your fault I know, but now they
say that the law says you should pay the fair price for electricity. Basically
meaning that whatever losses they make in generation capacity will be borne by
you. Life is not fair abi? I know.
I PAY FIXED CHARGE IF I HAVE NOT HAD LIGHT FOR WEEKS OR EVEN ONE MONTH?
the NERC oga has said that there is an order effective May 1, 2014 which says
that if you have not had electricity for 15 days no one should charge you fixed
charge for that month. If they do, you can report to NERC. How will NERC
resolve this? Don’t ask me, just report first and see what will happen.
on, I don’t work for NERC. If you have any questions, go to their office at
Adamawa Plaza in Central Business District, Abuja – the very bad road (the
worst road in the Abuja City) near the Federal High Court. Or call them
+234-9-4621400. Or tweet at one of the ogas at @eyoekpo. Or email them at
email@example.com. I would have asked you to go to their website, but honestly,
that thing is not designed for the average consumer of electricity in Nigeria-
it can’t really help you. They need someone who has at the back of his or her
mind that normal people will read it while writing, to write for their website.