The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said the new electricity tariff increase will not affect low-income areas with lesser energy supply.
In its reaction to media reports criticising the new tariff, which came into force on January 1, 2021, NERC, in a series of Twitter posts, said the tariff for customers on service bands D and E with less than an average of 12 hours of supply daily remained frozen.
“The commission hereby states unequivocally that no approval has been granted for a 50 per cent tariff increase in the Tariff Order for electricity distribution companies which took effect on January 1, 2021.
“On the contrary, the tariff for customers on service bands D and E (customers being served less than an average of 12 hours of supply per day over a period of one month) remains frozen and subsidised in line with the policy direction of the Federal Government.
“In compliance with the provisions of the EPSR Act and the nation’s tariff methodology for bi-annual minor review, the rates for service bands A, B, C, D, and E have been adjusted by N2.00 to N4.00 per kWhr to reflect the partial impact of inflation and movement in forex.
“The commission remains committed to protecting electricity consumers from failure to deliver on committed service levels under the service-based tariff regime,” NERC explained.
The commission said any customer that has been impacted by any rate increases beyond the above provision of the Tariff Order should report to its office.
Also, Chiarman of the House of Representatives Committee on Power, Mr. Magaji Dau Aliyu, disabused the minds of Nigerians of an increase in electricity tariff.
Speaking to The Guardian on phone, he argued that the minor adjustment in the tariffs is not in breach of the dictates of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPRSA).
The Jigawa-born lawmaker contended that the action was in tandem with the nation’s tariff methodology for bi-annual minor review, in this instance, adjustment of rates for service bonds A, B, C, D by N2.00 to N4.00 per kWhr to reflect the economic realities in the country.
“For me, what happened was actually not an increase in electricity tariff. It is in line with EPRSA Act except if we have to review the Act again. There is nothing anybody can do about it for now,” he noted.
“We have a duty to protect electricity consumers from exploitation but what we are seeing now is contrary to the impression being conveyed to Nigerians. The tariff could fluctuate downward as is obtained in the oil sector. It’s not fixed or cast in stone.”
Expressing concern over the appalling level of electricity supply in the country, Aliyu said the decision by the government to withdraw subsidy from the power security was a step in the right direction.