Electricity distribution companies on Sunday said the July increase in electricity tariffs was not a unilateral decision by the power firms.

They said the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission was involved in the decision as the distribution firms could not increase tariffs without the involvement of the regulator.

Power distributors had since last week been announcing the implementation of the new tariff beginning from July 1.

Officials of NERC told our correspondent in Abuja that the Discos should stop mentioning the name of the commission when making such announcements.

“The tariff is for them. They requested that it be increased. They should tell customers why it has to rise and should stop mentioning NERC when announcing it,” an official of the commission who spoke to our correspondent in confidence said.

But speaking under the aegis of the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, the Discos faulted the stance of NERC.

The Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, ANED, Sunday Oduntan, said, “We are in a regulated sector. We cannot take a decision about a very critical aspect of the sector like tariff without a nod from the regulator.

“We would like to inform Nigerians that tariff review (upward or downwards) is the primary responsibility of NERC as our regulator. We are required to submit our proposals and they have the final say.

“Hence we were surprised to receive a letter from NERC to all the Discos warning them not to mention their name or that of the Federal Government in any public communications on tariffs.”

“The fact that the action is deliberately made to look unilateral is capable of creating public resistance, effectively setting Discos up for failure,” Oduntan said.

Meanwhile, the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company on Sunday said it would begin the implementation of the new service reflective electricity tariff from July 1.

A statement by the EEDC’s Head of Corporate Communications, Emeka Ezeh, said the new tariff became necessary to improve efficiency in delivering quality service to customers.

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