Nigeria: ‘Electricity Tariff Hike Postponed to Mitigate Customers’ Hardship’

Nigeria: ‘Electricity Tariff Hike Postponed to Mitigate Customers’ Hardship’

Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) have denied claims that they initiated the suspension of the electricity hike slated to begin July 1.

Their umbrella body, the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) said the suspension was initiated by the National Assembly (NASS) on Monday due to concerns on the current financial hardships of their constituents.

The DisCos said the federal lawmakers also saw lapses in the internal workability of the plan within the sector.

ANED, in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Barr. Sunday Oduntan, on Tuesday said, based on the recommendations of the NASS leadership, the new Service Reflective Tariff regime would take effect from the first quarter of 2021.

“The members of the National Assembly are representatives of the people. Based on the feedback they have been getting from their constituents mainly around the difficult financial realities, they called for a meeting, which we attended and during the meeting, they laid out their concerns,” Oduntan said.

The industry leader said the DisCos, in anticipation of the tariff hike on Wednesday, had been sensitising their customers “as instructed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). DisCos have also been at the forefront of the call for a reviewed tariff for years.”

Daily Trust reports that the increase was by an average of 35 percent to 60 percent rate. The DisCos had lost N366 billion after the hike was suspended for three months (April to June). They would lose a total of N1 trillion this year with the further suspension of the tariff.

ANED on Sunday flawed the NERC for writing to the DisCos last week not to inform customers that the Commission and the federal government approved the tariff.

The AGM, Government and Consumer Relations at NERC, Mike Faloseyi, told Daily Trust that the Commission would notify the public on the tariff hike or otherwise.

That ought to happen on Tuesday but truncated by the latest NASS intervention.

Source: allafrica.com