Chief Operating Officer (COO), Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), Engr. John Ayodele has disclosed that the recent increase in the electricity tariff was justifiable, bearing in mind the refusal of most of their customers to pay their outstanding bills.
He made the disclosure, weekend, during an interview with newsmen in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, following the displeasure that greeted the announcement of increase in the electricity tariff by Nigerians.
Engr. Ayodele further stated that the electricity company has ran into about N3.5 billion market shortfall, adding that they also recorded N27 billion shortfall this year. He said: “DISCOS are unable to recover money, they are unable to settle their debts, so that was compounding the problem of the sector.”
“As we speak today, we are trying to readjust. What is tariff shortfall, what is market short fall? Market shortfall is money that we are billed but we cannot pay. For example today, almost every month, we run into almost about 3 to 3.5 billion market short fall.” “In fact this year’s own is almost 27 billion, for this year alone, so you can imagine by the time we get to December, we are talking about 30,35 billion as short fall.”
“When you look at those market shortfalls over the time, as at December last year 2019, we were in short fall of 243 billion is what this industry is owing the sector. So 243 billion naira debt.”
“Can I take that one to the bank to seek for investment fund? If you can’t borrow money, you cannot find money to invest.” “On the other side of it is the tariff shortfall, for government not allowing us to charge the adequate tariff. That one is another huge amount of money.” “So government can no longer take responsibility for that short fall and government has made it very clear there’s no way they can continue to sponsor that pay.
That is the reason for the increase.” “At this point in time, government has taken a decision and we are about to abide by the decision. That is why we are where we are,” Engr. Ayodele stated.