BUSINESS and FINANCE

Nigerians Up In Arms As NERC Plans To Increase Electricity Tariff

Consumers in Nigeria are up in arms after the government announced that it will increase electricity tariff effective February 1st and that the customers will adhere to the new tariff put forth.

The increase in power costs in Nigeria is causing public uproar, as members of the public are not ready for the new tariffs because the Nigerian electricity regulatory commission has set the new rules. The acting chairman of the board reiterated that no one is allowed to buy transformers or electric poles during this period and only homes are to be metered within the indicated period. He indicated that after the expiration of the resident should reject the billing and that the customer will not be disconnected until the dispute is resolved. Mr. Akah indicated that they are developing a new operational methodology and strategy that will bring about an effective implementation of the Power Consumer Assistance Fund.

He was quick to defend the tariff indicating that the remedial regulatory action had a wide array of challenges especially when it comes to power supply. The commission is seeking to attain credible costs that will help every consumer in the country to get constant supply of power at reasonable costs. According to the new regulation, penalty awaits stakeholders who have refused to sign or follow the performance contract agreement in place. However, the consumers feel that the current tariffs will push the cost of living high and that they cannot support such tariffs.

The chairperson indicated that investments are required to significantly turn the situation from value chain to tariffs that reflect the overall costs and not a direct consumer costs. However the challenge remains in bringing the right balance between setting up of tariffs and allowing the investments to increase over the period. The customers will have to pay more for the investments to be seen as effective. There is a huge deficit if the prices are kept low as they are currently.

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