Kwara Hotel Owners Protest Electricity Tariff Hike

Date: 2024-05-28

According to a news report from Punch, the Association of Hotel Owners in Kwara State took to the streets on Tuesday to protest against what they termed an "outrageous and insensitive" increase in electricity tariffs imposed by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC).

The protest culminated at the office of the Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) on Kwara State Stadium Road, Ilorin. The association's president, Alhaji Dauda Akande, handed over a petition outlining their grievances to the Secretary of the Ilorin branch of NERC.

The protesters' complaints included the substantial hike in electricity tariffs, alleged computer manipulation, and the limited hours of electricity supply provided by IBEDC, which manages electricity distribution in Kwara State.

Some Placards carried by the hoteliers read, “IBEDC, stop hike in Electricity tariff, We say capital no to high Electricity tariff by IBEDC, We will not allow IBEDC to drive us out of business, NERC, please rescue us from high Electricity tariff impose on our members by IBEDC”, among others

In the letter presented to the NERC secretary, Akande alleged that the IBEDC wanted to drive members of the hotel owners in the state out of business with the high Electricity tariff being imposed on them.

According to him, “In its recent upward review of its tariffs, IBEDC outrageously and insensitively increased the electricity tariff of its band A customers, under which many of our members fall, from N74 to N225 per unit.

“The company later effect marginal downward review to N205 per unit. This afterthought marginal reduction is grossly inadequate and many of our businesses cannot survive this tariff hike under the prevailing economic situation of our country.

“If IBEDC fails to effect a substantial downward review of its tariffs, many businesses would collapse and there would be inevitable job losses across the country. This would only compound the current economic challenges of our dear country.

“We hereby demand a substantial downward review of the electricity tariffs to prevent the imminent collapse of our businesses and job losses.

“We implore the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission to intervene without further delay to save our businesses and jobs.

“The presiding member, Nigeria Electricity Commission Forum, Ilorin should please forward our submitted letter of protest to Nigeria Electricity Commission head office at Abuja for the urgently needed intervention,” the association pleaded.

One of the protesters, Mr Funsho Ibrahim who is the General Manager of the hotels in Ilorin said that the new tariff given to him by IBEDC was N25m after the marginal review of the new tariff.

Funsho said, “The tarrif rose from N6m to N25m which is 75 per cent more than what was given to me before. We also pay taxes to the state and local government councils as well as other taxes.

“If the government wants us to remain in business, they have to find a solution to this high tariff as well as these taxes.”

When contacted for reaction, the chairman of the Ilorin branch Forum of NERC, Mr Amos Ajanaku who said that he was on his way to Ibadan, Oyo State for a meeting promised that the association complaint would be forwarded to the NERC office, Abuja.

“I have been informed of the protest of the association by the Secretary and she said that they have submitted a letter containing their grievances.

“We will forward it to the NERC office in Abuja for possible action and assure them that their letter will get to Abuja,” Ajanaku said.

Earlier in May, the Nigeria Labour Congress shut the gates of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company in Ilorin, Kwara State seeking the reversal of the electricity tariff earlier imposed – a nationwide protest.

 


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