New Electricity Tariff To Begin in May …Consumers Threaten Showdown Against PHED
Electricity consumers in Rivers State appear set for a showdown with the management of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) over the tariff hike billed to take off in May, 2020 in the face of epileptic power supply.
The proposed tariff increase was disclosed by the Management of PHED in Port Harcourt during a public consultation session on the Tariff Review under the Multi Year Tariff Order, (MYTO) organized by the electricity distribution company for stakeholders.
Speaking after the interactive session, PHED Manager of Corporate Communication, John Onyi, said consultations for the electricity tariff increase was a national issue and not peculiar to Rivers State, adding that the increase was authorized by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
According to the PHED image maker, the increase which will commence in May 2020, was necessitated by several factors including the prevailing inflationary trend in the nation’s economy.
Onyi explained that PHED which has the mandate to distribute power to five states namely; Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Cross River has been groaning under heavy indebtedness by customers in the region.
Onyi said the heavy debt portfolio by its customers has affected its capacity to distribute power to the state, contending that the increase will boost the performance of the company.
He stated that tariff review was last carried out by NERC in 2015, arguing that there is need for upward review to meet current realities in the sector.
However, stakeholders at the interactive session were unanimous that the planned increase was arbitrary, considering the epileptic services of PHED in the state.
Comrade Enefa Georgewill of the civil society group who spoke to newsmen said electricity consumers in the state would mobilize for a showdown with the PHED if it does not rescind its decision.