Prof. James Momoh, Chairman/CEO, NERC

Electricity tariff increments take effect from April ─NERC

Isola Moses

Subsequent upon consumers’ continued uproar over the proposal to increase electricity tariffs in the country, the Nigerian Government says the implementation will commence in April 2020.

Prof. James Momoh, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), stated this at a news conference Monday, January 6, 2020, in Abuja, the nation’s Federal Capital Territory.

Reports say a series of documents dated December 31, 2019 indicate an increase that ranges from 59.7 per cent to 77.6 per cent.

The increase affects all categories of electricity consumers, except those classified as residential (R1) whose N4 per kWh charge was left unchanged.

According to the documents, jointly signed by Prof. Momoh and Dafe Akpeneye, Commissioner for Legal, Licence, and Compliance, NERC said the reviewed tariffs would be effective January 1, 2020.

Hitherto, the development has affected the 11 Distribution Companies (DISCOs) in the country such as Abuja DISCO, Benin DISCO, Enugu DISCO, and Eko DISCO.

Others are Ibadan DISCO, Ikeja DISCO, Jos DISCO, Kaduna DISCO, Kano DISCO, Port Harcourt DISCO, and Yola DISCO.

The development subsequently elicited pervasive criticisms of the government and the power regulatory agency, apparently forcing the latter to make further clarification on the issue.

The source recited Prof. Momoh, at the press conference, explained that the review of the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) does not mean an immediate increase in tariffs for electricity consumers.

He added that the commission would engage the public on the planned review in the next three months, before deciding on any implementation.

The NERC boss also said the electricity body would begin the regulation of estimated billing by electricity distribution companies who fail to provide meters for their customers.

Clarifying the controversial issue, NERC’s statement stated, “we make this statement to inform all our esteemed customers that we are not unmindful of news making the rounds that electricity tariffs have been increased effective January 1, 2020, as reported in some print and electronic media.

For clarity and improved understanding, it states the following points among others:

“NERC is empowered by EPSRA to carry out minor reviews of the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) 2015 (the Electricity Tariff), twice a year.

“An accurate electricity tariff assists greatly in ensuring efficient power supply delivery from the different stages of the electricity process, from Generation through Transmission to Distribution, as it assures stakeholders and participants of their costs recovery and return on investment. This makes the business viable.

“The tariffs anticipate changes in the currency exchange rates between the United States and Nigeria, changes in the rate of inflation and Gas prices.

“The tariffs shall remain the same as they presently are (i.e., 2015 levels) until April 01, 2020, when there will be a slight increment to cater to tariff shortfalls which shall be gradually passed on to the consumer until this is fully completed by the end of 2021.

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