…DISCOs say they’re yet to be communicated
Kunle Kalejaye 25 March 2015, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, says the 50 per cent slash on electricity tariff as recently directed by President Goodluck Jonathan will take effect from April 1.
This information is coming amid insistence by the Power Distribution Companies, DISCOs, on the old tariff under the Multi-Year Tariff Order, MYTO 2.1 as they claimed they were yet to officially communicated by NERC on the presidential directive.
A ranking official in one of the 11 DISCOs in the country, had told SweetcrudeReports they are yet to receive official letters notifying them to implement the 50 per cent cut, adding that the DISCOs would be operating with the old tariff which came into effect on January 1, this year, until they received official communication from NERC.
The source, who prefers not to be mentioned in print, however, disclosed that the DISCOs would go ahead to commence customers consultation on appropriate tariff billing method.
When contacted at the weekend, chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, confirmed to SweetcrudeReports that the 50 per cent tariff cut would commence on April 1, 2015.
According to him, the 50 per cent cut refers to commercial loss that has divergent impact on electricity consumers tariff, which will now be recovered by DISCOs themselves unlike in the past when NERC built components in tariff structure to enable DISCOs recover their losses.
This, he said, meant that his agency has now asked DISCOs to recover their losses, as consumers would no longer bear the brunt of such losses.
The new development, according to the NERC boss, also means that DISCOs have been afforded the opportunity to first consult with consumers before any request to NERC to increase tariff.
Dr. Amadi further stated that the 50 per cent commercial loss implementation varies from one DISCOs to another noting that what is obtainable in Enugu DISCO might not be feasible in Ikeja or Ibadan DISCOs.
He also noted that it is now the responsibility of DISCOs to convinced the regulator of any exceptional circumstances for such loss to be passed on to the consumers.
He said the 50 per cent tariff slash sequels complaint from electricity consumers particularly industrial users such as Manufacture Association of Nigeria, MAN.
MAN had recently issued a threat, warning of looming job losses and impeding collapse of businesses over the very high tariff structure for industrial users.
The development had led to series of meetings with NERC and the subsequent setting up of a technical committee to look into the issue.