Doosuur Iwambe, Abuja
The federal government has ordered the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to direct all Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to revert to tariffs that were applicable in Dec. 2020.
The Minister of Power, Mr Saleh Mamman, who issued then directive in a statement on Thursday stated that the reversal to the old tariff was to promote a constructive conclusion of the dialogue with the Labour Centres (through the Joint Ad-Hoc Committee).
According to the statement signed by Mr. Aaron Artimas, his Senior Special Adviser, Media and Communications, the minister noted that reports on electricity tariff increase by 50 per cent was false but also misleading.
He said, government has on the contrary has continued to fully subsidies 55 per cent of on-grid consumers in bands D and E and maintain the lifeline tariff for the poor and underprivileged.
He said, “I would like to affirm that these reports are inaccurate and false. It is unfortunate that these reports have led to confusion with the public.
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“On the contrary, Government continues to fully subsidies 55 per cent of on-grid consumers in bands D and E and maintains the lifeline tariff for the poor and underprivileged.
“Those citizens have experienced no changes to tariff rates from what they have paid historically, aside from the recent minor inflation and forex adjustment. Partial subsidies were also applied for bands A, B and C in October 2020’’.
Mamman said that these measures were all aimed at cushioning the effects of the pandemic while providing more targeted interventions for citizens adding that the public was aware that the Federal Government and Labour Centres had been engaged in positive discussions about the electricity sector through a Joint Ad-hoc Committee.
The minister further disclosed that the committee was led by Mr Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labour and Productivity and Co-Chaired by the Minister of State for Power, Mr Goddy Jedy-Agba.
He revealed that progress has been made in these deliberations, which are set to be concluded at the end of January.
“Some of the achievements of this deliberation with Labour are the accelerated rollout of the National Mass Metering Plan and clamp downs on estimated billing. “Improved monitoring of the Service Based Tariff and the reduction in tariff rates for bands A to C in October 2020 (that were funded by a creative use of taxes)’’, he added.
While emphasizing that the regulators should be allowed to perform its function without undue interference, the minister added that s the role of the government was not to set tariffs, but to provide policy guidance and an enabling environment for the regulator to protect consumers and for investors to engage directly with consumers.
He added that Bi-Annual Minor reviews to adjust factors such as inflation are part of the process for a sustainable and investable Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
‘’The regulator must be commended for implementing the subsisting regulations while putting in place extensive actions to minimise the adverse impact on end user tariffs.
“The administration is committed to creating a sustainable, growing and rules-based electricity market for the benefit of all Nigerians. “The administration and the Ministry of Power will also continue to devise means to provide support for vulnerable Nigerians while ensuring we have a sustainable NESI’’.
Read the Source post on Daily Times Nigeria.