FG extends suspension of new electricity tariff


The Nigerian government has extended the suspension of the new electricity tariff by another week. The chairperson of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), James Momoh, said this when the ad hoc Technical Committee on Electricity Tariff submitted its interim report, at a follow-up meeting between the Federal Government and Organised Labour, on Monday in Abuja.

The new tariff was earlier suspended for two weeks to allow for “examination of the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective Electricity Tariff Adjustments”, by an ad-hoc technical committee chaired by Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labour. The two weeks ended at midnight on October 11.

Mr Momoh said the one-week extension is to enable the committee to review and work out modalities for the implementation of the agreement reached on the electricity tariffs structure.

While reading the resolution reached between the Federal Government, the Organised Labour and the Ad Hoc Technical Committee, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr. Chris Ngige, said that a work plan for effecting resolutions has been adopted.

Mr Ngige said the resolutions adopted would be implemented by all stakeholders by Sunday, October 18.

The amendments to the resolutions adopted, according to him, include:“Use of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) VAT proceeds to provide relief in electricity tariff. This is to leverage on the VAT from the NESI, the increases experienced by customers due to the transition to the Service Based Tariff will be reduced.

“That is, Band A – 10 per cent reduction, Band B – 10.5 per cent reduction and Band C – 31 per cent reduction,” he said. It has been adopted that the Ministry of Power is to liaise with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) for the distribution of the first one million meters, under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).

The minister added that work is to start by October 12 for acceleration of electricity meters roll with a target date of December 2020.

“The Federal Government is committed to provide six million meters and NERC is expected to compel the DISCOs to meet the metering needs of the customers,” he said.

Organised Labour is tasked with the responsibility of improving and ramping up local production capacity of electricity meters to help in achieving the targeted number of meters under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP), Mr Ngige said. He added that the process would commence from Monday, October 12.

“On the issue of mandatory refund for any over billing during system transition by the DISCOs that NERC should implement immediately within October.

‘While on the freezing of customer band migration during the interim period that the revised NERC order will include specific guidelines on freezing band migration,” he said.

All outstanding issues shall be resolved and implemented, by the ad hoc committee which will work between October 12 and December 12. It was adopted that this will be the Phase two for extensive review of key sector reforms, according to Mr Ngige.
On gas pricing, he said it was resolved and adopted that the Group Managing Director be co-opted into the Technical Committee to assist in that direction. Managing Director, NEMSA, is also to be co-opted to work with NERC on metering assignments.

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