340% Tarrif Hike: Darkness Looms As UNIBEN Says ‘We Can’t Afford N280m Bill”

Advert link
Share this post

340% Tarrif Hike: Darkness Looms As UNIBEN SaysWe Cant Afford N280m Bill

The University of Benin (UNIBEN) is facing a looming power crisis as the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) threatens to disconnect the university’s power supply over a disputed electricity bill. The university is contesting the bill, which skyrocketed to N280 million for the month of April 2024, compared to N80 million in March 2024.

According to a statement issued over the weekend signed by the university management, and made available to CAMPUS GIST in Benin City, BEDC’s “sudden and exorbitant” increase in the electricity bill is “unsustainable and unacceptable.”

The statement noted that management of the university has written to BEDC to protest the development and has also sought the intervention of the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) to resolve the matter.

“To register her objection to the outrageous bill submitted by BEDC in April, the University has officially written and held meetings with BEDC to protest the development”, the statement sighted by CAMPUS GIST reads in part.

“To further resolve the matter, the University has taken steps to request for intervention of the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission regarding the April 2024 bill and other matters sustainable supply of electricity to the University of Benin community.”

The university management emphasized that paying even a fraction of the disputed bill would imply acceptance of the contested amount, which would not be in the university’s interest. Therefore, they are seeking understanding and cooperation from staff and students as they work towards a sustainable solution to the crisis.

“Besides the fact that the University does not have the means to pay the exorbitant bill presented by BEDC in April, payments of any fraction of the disputed April bill may suggest that the University has accepted to pay the contested bill. This will not be in the interest of the University,” the statement noted.

“In the circumstances, it is believed to be more reasonable to allow the issue raised by the University to be resolved before any payment relating to the disputed bill is made. Management, therefore, solicits the understanding and cooperation of staff and students as efforts are being made to ensure that a sustainable solution is achieved for the University as soon as possible.”

As the threat of disconnection looms, the university community is bracing itself for possible darkness and disruption of activities. Students and staff are worried about the impact on their studies and work, and are calling on BEDC and the relevant authorities to resolve the issue urgently.

Though the university management has assured that efforts are being made to ensure a sustainable solution is achieved as soon as possible, but for now, the uncertainty and tension remain.

Back Story

About two months ago, the federal government, through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), approved a hike in the electricity rates for consumers categorized under Band A, where most federal institutions fall under, including the University of Benin.

This was contained in a press statement made available to CAMPUS GIST by the Vice-Chairman of NERC, Musliu Oseni, who stated that the tariff hike would result in customers paying N225 per kilowatt hour, up from the existing N66.

However, NERC reduced the exchange rate for calculating the current electricity tariff for Band A customers by 16.03%, from N1,463.3/$ to N1,277.8 from May to December 2024.

| May 26, 2024.


Categories: News



Type Name Below

Type Comment Below

« | »