…Directs nationwide mass metering
Lagos — President Muhammadu Buhari has directed a nationwide mass-metering programme in an effort by the Federal government to end estimated and arbitrary billings on electricity.
A release signed by James A. Momoh, Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, said the move was in response to media reports that an increase in tariffs has been implemented.
According to the statement, going forward, tariff reviews will only follow service-based principles.
Under these service-based principles, electricity distribution companies or Discos will only be able to review tariff rates for customers when they consult with customers, commit to increasing the number of hours of supply per day and quality of service, NERC said.
“In all cases poor and vulnerable Nigerians will not experience any increase”.
In line with these expectations, the Commission directed Discos to engage with their customers on a service-based tariff structure.
Under this structure, Discos can only review tariffs for customers under the following conditions: that customers are consulted and communicated a guaranteed level of electricity service by the Discos based on hours of supply customers are metered, and no estimated billing through the strict enforcement of the capping regulation.
This means that unmetered customers will not experience any cost increase beyond what is chargeable to metered customers in the same area.
Even under the above conditions, there will be no change in tariff for the most vulnerable as tariffs for those consuming 50KW or less remain frozen. Customers receiving less than 12 hours of supply will also not experience any change in tariffs, NERC said.
Momoh added that President Buhari has also approved a waiver of the import levy on meters, so that those that do not have meters can be supplied as early as possible at reasonable costs.
“The general public and all stakeholders in the power sector are by this statement urged to disregard any reports of an arbitrary tariff increase affecting Nigerians”.