The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has ordered that the proposed bi-annual electricity tariff adjustment be postponed until the Joint Ad-hoc Committee completes its debate by the end of January.
The order was contained in a statement made on Thursday 7 January by the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman.
Recall that NERC released a statement on Monday, January 4, rejecting claims of a 50 percent rise in electricity tariffs, but noted that prices for service bands were changed from NGN2.00 to NGN4.00 per kWhr.
However, in a statement released today, the Minister demanded that the proposed service rate change be postponed until the end of January after the stakeholder meeting.
The public knows that through a joint ad hoc committee headed by the Minister of State for Labour and Efficiency and co-chaired by the Minister of State for Power, the FGN and the Labour Centers have engaged in constructive discussions on the electricity market.
In these deliberations, which are scheduled to be completed at the end of January 2021, significant progress has been made.
The accelerated implementation of the National Mass Metering Programme, clampdowns on estimated billing, increased control of the Service-Based Tariff and the reduction in tariff rates for bands A to C in October 2020 are some of the achievements of this deliberation with Labour (that were funded by the creative use of taxes).
It should be clear to all that, without unnecessary intervention, the regulator must be able to perform its work. The government’s job is not to create tariffs, but to provide policy guidance and an enabling environment for the consumer protection regulator and for investors to engage directly with consumers.
Bi-Annual minor assessments are part of the process for a sustainable and investable NESI to change variables such as inflation.
In order to facilitate a proper outcome of the dialogue with the Labour Centers (through the Joint Ad-Hoc Committee), I have ordered the NERC to forestall the introduction of a duly carried out minor review (which changed tariffs between N2 per kWh and N4 per kWh) by the end of January 2021 of the work of the Joint Ad Hoc Committee.
This will allow the outcome of all the Committee’s decisions to be enforced together.
The Minister emphasized that the information given by the NERC was misunderstood by the general public and that there was a need for the government to speak out and ensure the electricity market’s sustainable development.
On the contrary, @NigeriaGov continues to completely subsidize 55% of on-grid customers in bands D and E and to retain the poor and underprivileged life-line tariff, Mamman said.
There have been no improvements in tariff rates for these people from what they have historically paid (aside from the recent minor inflation and forex adjustment). Partial subsidies were also sought in October 2020 for bands A, B and C.
All of these initiatives are aimed at cushioning the impact of the pandemic while supplying people with more tailored interventions.
To the good of all Nigerians, the administration is committed to developing a healthy, rising and rules-based electricity sector.
The Government and the Department of Power will also continue to build means to provide assistance to needy Nigerians while ensuring that we have a prosperous NESI.