The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has denied increasing electricity tariff by 50 percent as being relayed by the mainstream and online media.
The agency however admitted adjusting rate for service bands A, B, C, D and E “by NGN2.00 to NGN4.00 per kWhr to reflect the partial impact of inflation & movement in forex.”
Enquiries by The ICIR showed that the phrase “by N2.00 to N4.00” meant that between N2 and N4 were added to consumers of service bands A,B,C and D to reflect foreign exchange fluctuations and rising inflation.
Many print, electronic and online platforms had reported that the new 50 percent tariff increase would last from January to June 2020, citing an approval from the NERC chairman Sanusi Garba on December 30, 2020.
But the NERC said the publications misinformed electricity consumers, denying any increase in tariff but admitted adjusting rate to reflect current economic realities.
“The Commission hereby state unequivocally that no approval has been granted for a 50 percent tariff increase in the Tariff Order for electricity distribution companies which took effect on January 1, 2021,” the statement seen by The ICIR on the NERC Twitter handle said.
On the contrary, the NRC said, the tariff for customers on service bands D & E (customers being served less than an average of 12hrs of supply per day over a period of one month) remained frozen and subsidised in line with the policy direction of the FG.
However, it admitted to have adjusted the rates for A, B, C and D service bands.
“In compliance with the provisions of the Electricity Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act and the nation’s tariff methodology for biannual minor review, the rates for service bands A, B, C, D and E have been adjusted by NGN2.00 to NGN4.00 per kWhr to reflect the partial impact of inflation & movement in forex,” it said.
By this statement, customers of Abuja DisCo with 20 hours of electricity access a day, whose tariff was hitherto N49.75 per kWHr, will now pay between N51.75 and N53.75. Similarly, customers of Eko Disco in Lagos with access to 12 hours of electricity, paying N43.01 per kWhr before now, will now pay between N45.01 and N47.01 per kWhr, according to The ICIR calculations.
The Commission said it remained committed to protecting electricity consumers from failure to deliver on committed service levels under the service-based tariff regime.
“Any customer that has been impacted by any rate increases beyond the above provision of the tariff Order should report to the Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org,” it said