The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said that the new electricity tariff would be announced this week.
Disclosing this, the chairman of the NERC, Dr Sam Amadi, while speaking at the opening of a workshop for power correspondents in Abuja at the weekend, said that the new tariff would be ready and signed off this week.
Noting that details of the tariff structure were not yet to be finalised, Amadi explained that the NERC was done with the technical issues, adding, “Next will be regulatory process before approval. Before the end of next week, we will sign off and there will be a clear definite tariff.”
While details of the new tariff remain sketchy, it was, however, learnt that the shortfalls which accrued following the embargo placed in January this year, which froze the implementation of the new tariff for residential customers, have now been included.
The NERC had, following the January 1, 2015, tariff increase, exempted residential consumers who fall under the R1 and R2 category from being affected for a period of six month. Amadi had explained that the six months period freeze for residential consumers which make up about 80 per cent of electricity customers nationwide, was to prevent them from being exposed to tariff hike without commensurate improvement in service.
The commission’s Aisha Mahmud, informed that the shortfall have now been calculated and would form part of the new tariff.
She said, “We calculated the shortfall accruing to the freeze and we incorporated it in the tariff because that’s part of the revenue of the operators and they have to recover it one way or the other, so it’s part of the tariff going forward.”
Meanwhile, the NERC boss has disclosed that the commission has discounted electricity bills owed by ministries, department and agencies (MDA’s) from collection losses in the new tariff following some payment commitment.
To prevent future debts however, Amadi said NERC has proposed a strategy to the National Assembly to adopt the earmark strategy practiced in the US, for each MDA budget to have clear earmark for paying electricity bills with conditions that the money cannot be used for anything else.
Amadi said the NASS could also, as part of its oversight function, demand for certificate of compliance to be sure MDAs have paid their electricity bills.
Source : Leadership