NERC makes u-turn on electricity tariff hike



The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) appears to be at crossroads over its recent announcement on increase in electricity tariff across the eleven Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos), as it has denied any such hike.

While the regulator had published a new tariff structure under its Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) 2015 for the period Jan. 1, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2018, it added, that it had determined and recognised the historical (2015-2018) tariff deficits pursuant to the objective of resolving the impairment of the financial records of Discos arising as a consequence of the deficits.

“This order has taken into consideration the actual changes in relevant macroeconomic variables and available generation capacity in updating the operating MYTO 2015 Tariff Order for the period Jan. 1, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2018.

“In line with the provisions of the MYTO Methodology (Amended) projections were made for macroeconomic variables for the year 2019 and beyond based on best available information.

“The commission shall make necessary adjustments to reflect actual values at the time of the next minor review that will take effect on January 1, 2020.’’

Indeed, NERC said the planned increase in tariff was done through consultation with Electricity Distribution Companies and stakeholders in the sector.

Chairman of NERC, Prof. John Momoh, stated this last week in Abuja at the assumption of office of the new Minister of Power, Mr. Sale Mamman.

But in a dramatic twist, NERC has said that no tariff increase has been approved by the commission yet.

A statement by NERC’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Usman Arabi, said it was still consulting with stakeholders.

He said that the commission wished to notify the public that no tariff increase had been approved by the commission contrary to the impression in some quarters.

“However, the commission in the discharge of its statutory responsibilities enshrined under the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, shall continue to undertake periodic reviews of electricity tariffs in accordance with prevailing tariff methodology.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Rights Advancement Organisation (CRADO), has vowed to resist any attempt by the Discos to foist a new tariff on consumers without metering them.

President of CARDO, Mr. Adeolu Ogunbanjo, in a telephone interview with newsmen, said in as much as the group supports the call of DisCos to have a cost reflective tariff, it was not in support of extortion through unreasonable estimated billings.

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