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Nigerian Electricity Commission suspends hike in tariff amid coronavirus outbreak

By News Desk

Following the outbreak of coronavirus in Nigeria, the country’s Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has suspended the planned increase in electricity tariff for end-use customers.

The increase in tariff was earlier scheduled to commence on April 1st, but due to the lockdown of several states to flatten the circle of coronavirus, the increment in tariff will now take effect in July, this year.

NERC chairman, James Momoh, in a statement released on Tuesday, directed all Distribution Companies (Discos) to submit a detailed plan for the attainment of full recovery of prudent costs and allowed return on capital revenue requirements by 30 June 2021.

NERC also directed the DisCos to submit revised Performance Improvement Plans based on the key objective of improvement in service for and use customers and transiting to full revenue recovery no later than 21 April 2020.

According to the commission, the approved plans shall form the basis for future tariff reviews and full recovery.

But the proposed increase was described by most stakeholders as one of the most callous decisions in the face of epileptic power supply, as well as lockdown of economic activities and the many implications of the Corona Virus outbreak.

“The Orders of the Commission (Order No NERC/GL/184/2019 TO NERC/GL/184/2019) titled ”THE DECEMBER 2019 MINOR REVIEW OF MULTI-YEAR TARIFF ORDER (MYTO) 2015 AND MINIMUM REMITTANCE ORDER FOR THE YEAR 2020″ shall remain in force until 30 June 2020 when a new minor review Order shall be issued by the Commission,” the memo read.

“There shall be no increase in tariffs of end-use customers on 1 April 2020. The current global COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted on the availability of imported components for local assembly of meters for supply to end-use customers under the Meter Asset Provider (”MAP”) regulations and the roll-out plan for the existing stock.

“The Commission acknowledges the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy and the consequential impact on the average Nigerian.

“All future tariff reviews shall be on the basis of consultations between the DisCo and customer clusters with firm commitments on rates and quality of service. The service level compact shall include a compensation mechanism for end-user customers to address the DisCo’s failure events to deliver on performance targets.”

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