7th January, 2021
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
The Federal Government on Thursday ordered the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, to immediately suspend the adjustment made in electricity tariff this month.
Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, in a statement on Thursday said the public is aware that the Federal Government and the Labour Centres had been engaged in positive discussions about the electricity sector through a joint ad-hoc Committee led by the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity and Co-Chaired by the Minister of State for Power.
He said great progress had been made in these deliberations which were set to be concluded at the end of January, 2021.
Mamman stated that some of the achievements of this deliberation with Labour were the accelerated roll-out of the National Mass Metering Plan, clamp downs on estimated billing, improved monitoring of the Service Based Tariff and the reduction in tariff rates for bands A to C in October 2020 (that were funded by a creative use of taxes).
He said it should be clear to all that the regulator must be allowed to perform its function without undue interference.
Mamman added that the role of the Government was not to set tariffs, but to provide policy guidance and an enabling environment for the regulator to protect consumers and for investors to engage directly with consumers, saying that bi-annual Minor reviews to adjust factors such as inflation were part of the process for a sustainable and investable NESI.
He said to promote a constructive conclusion of the dialogue with the Labour Centers, he had directed NERC to forestall the implementation of the duly performed minor review (which adjusted tariffs between N2 per kWh and N4 per kWh) until the conclusion of the Joint Ad Hoc Committee’s work at the end of January 2021.
The minister stated that this would allow for the outcome of all resolutions from the Committee to be implemented together.
He said the administration is committed to creating a sustainable, growing and rules based electricity market for the benefit of all Nigerians.
Several Nigerians have kicked against NERC’s adjustment to electricity tariff which took effect from January 1, 2021.