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Saturday, July 31, 2021

FG makes U-turn, stops fresh electricity tariff hike


Following nationwide protests over the recent adjustment from N2 to N4 per Kilo watt/hour in electricity tariff by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory(NERC), the Federal Government, yesterday, ordered the immediate reversal of the policy.

Minister of Power, Mr. Saleh Mamman, directed NERC to inform all Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to revert to tariffs that were applicable in Dec. 2020.

But,  Head, Corporate Communications, Ikeja Electric, Mr. Felix Ofolue, in a telephone interview with Daily Sun, said NERC was yet to duly notify them of the latest directive.

Also, an official of Kaduna Disco, who pleaded not to named because he was not authorised to speak said the company was yet to get such directive from NERC.

Spokesman for the Minister of Power, Aaron Artimas, in a statement, said 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).

“I have directed NERC to inform all DISCOs that they should revert to the tariffs that were applicable in December 2020 until the end of January 2021 when the FGN and Labour committee work will be concluded. This will allow for the outcome of all resolutions from the Committee to be implemented together,” he said.

The minister spoke against the backdrop of reports that electricity tariff had been increased by 50 per cent.

“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.

“On the contrary, government continues to fully subsidise 55 per cent of on-grid consumers in bands D and E and maintain 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,” he said.

Mamman said that these measures were all aimed at cushioning the effects of the pandemic while providing more targeted interventions for citizens. He said that the public was aware that the Federal Government and the Labour Centres had been engaged in positive discussions about the electricity sector through a Joint Ad-hoc Committee.

He said the committee was led by Mr. Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labour and Productivity and co-chaired by Minister of State for Power, Mr. Goddy Jedy-Agba. According to him, 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.

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