Following a ban on street protest by Nasarawa state police command, Lafia residents have shelved their planned street protest against AEDC over the migration of electricity consumers in Lafia from band D to band A without commensurate supply of electricity to consumers.
In a statement issued in Lafia for and on behalf of Lafia Electricity Consumers, the spokesperson, Malam Rayyanu Bala, said that the planned protest against AEDC was shelved in substantial compliance with the directive by the Nasarawa state police command against all forms of street protest in the state.
The statement recalled that on November 22, 2022, a group of people acting for and on behalf of Lafia Electricity Consumers had written a petition to the Lafia office of the AEDC and copied the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) complaining against the migration of Lafia electricity consumers from Band D to Band A without commensurate supply of electricity to consumers. All electricity consumers on Band A are, by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s guidelines to DisCos, supposed to enjoy electricity for 24 hours a day, except when there is an outage caused by a technical fault.
The statement further noted that since this migration, electricity consumers in Lafia have not noticed any significant changes in the hours of electricity supply, and most of the time the supply is being carried out during off-peak hours, meaning that the supply usually comes at a time when most consumers are asleep, with its attendant consequences.
The statement also revealed that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), on receipt of the copy of the petition, invited both AEDC and some members of Lafia Residents Electricity Consumers for oral presentations. After listening to both sides, NERC fixed February 16th for a ruling. And in their ruling, they (NERC) admitted the incapacitation of AEDC in supplying electricity to its consumers commensurate with what is being stipulated for consumers on Band A. But the ruling failed to address the main demand, which is that AEDC should revert consumers back to Band D in its billing system pending the time when they would put all their transformers and substations in good shape before they placed consumers on Band A. The petition also asked that consumers get refunds of the bills they paid to AEDC from June to the time of writing the petition. Currently, AEDC gives Lafia residents a monthly bill of N20, 000 and N26, 000 per house. This is a double jeopardy to AEDC consumers in Lafia and its environs—paying an excessive tariff for inefficiency and being in darkness.