With effect from April 1, electricity consumers in the country will have to pay through their noses following a directive by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for electricity distribution companies to increase their tariffs billing by 50 percent.
The directive is in flagrant disregard to the order by the House of Representatives which on January 14, 2020 ordered NERC to suspend the purported tariffs’ increase.
Ikeja Electric (IE) Plc, which made this disclosure in its memo to the commission, noted that the directive is “in order to meet the tariff shortfall funding target from 2020 by the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
Owing to the directive, the 50 percent tariff increase is expected to raise the average tariffs from the current level of 27.30 N/kWh to 40.95 N/kWh, according to the Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Youdeowei.
According to the memo sighted by the Nation in Abuja which was dated February 12, 2020 the objective for the extra-ordinary tariff review of MYTO-2015 is to ensure Ikeja Electric adjusts its tariff in line with the commission’s directive that current average allowed tariff shall be grossed-up 50% from April 2020.
Recall that the chairman of the House Committee on Power, Magaji Dau, had ordered NERC to immediately suspend the planned increase in electricity tariffs.
He issued the order during an interactive session with NERC officials with Ahmed Abdul represented by the Minister of State for Power, Saleh Mamman, in attendance.
Dau (APC, Jigawa) maintained that the increase was uncalled for in view of the appalling level of power supply in the country, faulting the decision to put the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc under the control of the minister of finance allegedly on orders from the presidency.
The chairman said: “We are not against a cost reflective tariff; we are only calling on the government to do the necessary things. There are so many unresolved questions. I pity the distribution companies (DisCos). There are locations they cannot even go to collect the tariff. They have a lot of debts. But we have to do it logically.
“On behalf of this committee, I will liaise with the Senate committee. I want to ask you to hold on until proper consultation is achieved. We want to have a smooth sailing. We have seen what happened in the communication sector; everybody is paying, nobody is complaining. We see what is happening in the petroleum sector; some are selling at N145 per litre, some are selling as low as N143, N142 per litre.