Following complaints raised by Nigerians over electricity tariff charged by power distribution companies, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said that a hike in rate would only be accepted when certain conditions are met by the firms.
NERC said that the condition for an increase in tariff going forward would only follow service-based principles and that a negotiation must take place between consumers and the electricity distribution firms before any increase.
The regulatory commission, through a statement by its Chairman, Prof. James Momoh, and made available to newsmen, stated that these conditions would be parameters for any further engagement between the firms and their consumers.
Explaining the conditions for a tariff hike, NERC stated that the firms must consult customers and assure them that the increase in rate would ensure additional hours of power supply to their property.
The regulatory commission added that each consumer in the country must be metered as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari, to end the lingering face-off between consumers and electricity distribution firms.
“Also, no estimated billing through the strict enforcement of the capping regulation and this means that unmetered customers will not experience any cost increase beyond what is chargeable to metered customers in the same area.
“Even under the above conditions, there will be no change in tariff for the most vulnerable as tariffs for those consuming 50KW or less remains frozen. Customers receiving less than 12 hours of supply will also not experience any change in tariffs”, the statement added.
The commission’s condition came hours after the president directed a nationwide mass-metering program in other to end estimated and arbitrarily billing for electricity in the country.
It would be recalled that he also approved a waiver of the import levy on meters so that those that do not have meters can be supplied as early as possible at reasonable costs.