Monday, 28 December 2015

IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW ELECTRICITY TARIFF FIXED FOR FEBRUARY 1

Despite public agitation, the Nigeri­an Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has announced February 1, 2016 as the take-off date for the im­plementation of the new tariff regime.

The Chairman, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, stated this while featuring on a live programme on Channels Television. Dr. Amadi said there was no going back on the new tariff structure, having abolished the fixed electricity charge.

He said electricity consumers have the right to challenge what they may want to consider outrageous bill, ad­vising that once a bill is in conten­tion, consumers should go ahead and pay what they adjudge as their actual consumption while they seek resolu­tion through NERC consumer forum office.

The NERC Chairman explained that once a bill is under contention, no Disco has the right to disconnect a consumer as long as part of the bill has been paid, until a resolution is reached.

The regulatory commission had promised to address all the com­plaints against fixed charges through a regulatory process that promotes investments in the electricity industry without unfairly burdening electricity consumers, adding that this is in line with NERC’s mandate to be fair in all its regulatory interventions.

He said: “With the new tariff, electricity consumers will now pay only for what they consume from month to month. This is good news for electricity con­sumers who have long asked for a more just and fair pricing of electric­ity.”

Recall that NERC had last week Monday rolled out new electricity tariff for residential and industrial us­ers across the country. Under the new tariff regime, R2 customers covered by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) who currently pay N13.91 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) will witness an increase by N9.60.

Consumers under the Eko and Ikeja electricity distribution ar­eas who currently pay N12.87kWh and N13.61 kWh respectively will witness a N10 and N8 increase re­spectively in their energy charges. Electricity consumers covered by Kaduna and Benin Discos who currently pay N16.90kWh and N12.54kWh will witness an in­crease of N11.05 and N9.26 re­spectively in their energy charges. For commercial consumers in Ibadan and Enugu who currently pay N25.18kWh and N24.01kWh respectively, their energy charge will increase by N12.08 and N13.35 re­spectively. And to further puncture the new billing system, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has accused NERC and the nation’s 11 electricity distribution companies of “mischief”.

MAN claimed it had previously se­cured a court injunction against any tariff increase, insisting that it would only pay for electricity using the old rates approved in 2012.

The 577 manufacturers, speak­ing under the umbrella of MAN, de­scribed the action of NERC as sub-judice, vowing to approach the court to stop the implementation of the new price regime. The association said it would also ask the court to commit the management of NERC and the Discos to prison for contempt of court. (Sun)