The public outcry against the plans by power distribution companies (DISCOS) to increase electricity tariffs may have forced some of them to effect corrections to the proposals they submitted to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
According to NERC, some DISCOs are providing clarifications sought by the commission’s technical team that is currently working on their applications, and they are making some adjustments to the proposed tariffs.
DISCOs were seeking an average of 49.4 per cent rise in electricity tariffs for residential consumers, 21 per cent average increase for commercial customers and 30 per cent average rise in tariff for industrial consumers. NERC had also concluded plans to hike the tariffs by five to 40 per cent, depending on the consumer class and the DISCOs by mid-November.
Obong Eko, Assistant National Secretary, National Electricity Consumers Advocacy Network (NECAN) vowed that the group would resist attempts to impose increased electricity rates on consumers as this would adversely affect the business operations, particularly those in the micro, small and medium-enterprises cadre.
NERC, in a statement, explained that it is still reviewing the tariff applications by the DISCOs; as well as the outcome of public consultations that it conducted with power consumers and the DISCOs. It also stated that it was preposterous to speculate on the range of increase or the tendency in electricity tariff at this stage.
The NERC Chairman, maintained that “it is at the end of the ongoing review exercise to be concluded in a few weeks’ time and that the percentages of increase or decrease will be clearer to everyone . The final figure is not clear to anyone as some of the DISCOs are still providing clarifications sought by the commission’s technical team working on their applications. Some of them are also making corrections to their applications on the basis of those clarifications.”