The Federal Government has asked the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to suspend the implementation of the new electricity tariff until January ending.
The Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, in a statement on Thursday, said the suspension had become necessary to allow the conclusion of the ongoing discussion with labour unions on issues in the industry.
He said the deliberations with a labour union through a joint ad-hoc committee had led to the accelerated rollout of the National Mass Metering Plan and clampdowns on estimated billing.
He added that the committee was able to achieve improved monitoring of the service based tariff and reduction in tariff rates for bands A to C in October 2020.
The statement is entitled ‘My statement on the false claim of 50% increase in tariff.’
“To promote a constructive conclusion of the dialogue with the Labour Centers (through the Joint Ad-Hoc Committee), I have 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,” Mamman said.
He added, “The public is aware that FGN and the labour centers have 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.
“Great progress has been made in these deliberations, which are set to be concluded at the end of January, 2021.”
He stressed that media reports regarding 50 per cent reduction increase in electricity tariff were inaccurate and false, saying it had led to confusion within the public.
According to the minister, bi-annual minor reviews to adjust factors such as inflation are part of the process for a sustainable power supply.
He said, “On the contrary, the Nigerian government continues to fully subsidise 55 per cent of on-grid consumers in bands D and E and maintain the lifeline tariff for the poor and underprivileged.
“Those citizens have experienced no changes to tariff rates from what they have paid historically (aside from the recent minor inflation and forex adjustment). Partial subsidies were also applied for bands A, B and C in October 2020.”
According to him, these measures are aimed at cushioning the effects of the pandemic while providing more targeted interventions for citizens.
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