TCN vs. DISCOs: Battle Erupts Over Dwindling 20-Hour Supply

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TCN vs. DISCOs: Battle Erupts Over Dwindling 20-Hour Supply

Amid growing frustration among Band A electricity consumers over the failure of Distribution Companies (DisCos) to meet the minimum 20-hour supply threshold, several communities are contemplating downgrading to Band B status. The rationale behind this move lies in the argument that if the promised 20-hour supply is not met, consumers should not be subjected to the N225 per kilowatt-hour tariff increase mandated by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

Investigations by Vanguard have revealed that while DisCos shoulder some responsibility for the shortfall in supply, the root cause lies in a significant decline in power allocation from the upstream value chain. This decline poses challenges for DisCos in meeting the minimum supply benchmark.

According to data provided by the Independent System Operator, load allocation to DisCos has dwindled to 2,989 Megawatts, a notable drop from the required 4,200MW average to meet tariff specifications. DisCos, such as Abuja, Ikeja, and Eko, have experienced reductions in their power allocations, complicating their ability to fulfill supply commitments.

However, some DisCos, like Eko, have defended their performance, asserting that they consistently meet the prescribed minimum of 20 hours. They attribute occasional discrepancies to variations in supply levels, which may create the impression of under-supply among consumers.

Amidst these challenges, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and DisCos have engaged in a blame game regarding supply failures. DisCos, such as Benin, Ibadan, and Port Harcourt, attributed outages to TCN challenges. However, TCN refuted these claims, asserting that the mentioned faults were not within their network, leading to misinformation and public confusion.

Consumer advocacy groups have expressed concerns over the tariff hike and called for greater transparency from DisCos. They emphasize the importance of consumers understanding their service bands and advocate for measures to address infrastructure deficiencies and metering gaps.

In response to the tariff hike, workers in the power sector have called for its reversal, citing its adverse socioeconomic impact on consumers. They warn of potential nationwide power shutdowns if colleagues are attacked in the line of duty over tariff-related grievances.

As the discourse surrounding electricity tariffs intensifies, stakeholders urge concerted efforts to address underlying infrastructure challenges, ensure equitable supply distribution, and alleviate consumer burden in Nigeria’s electricity sector.


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