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FG ties electricity tariff hike to metering every consumer, improved supplies

Until every electricity consumer in Nigeria is metered with prepaid and public confirmation of improved service delivery to customers, there shall be no increase in electricity tariff.

This was the position of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing as contained in a new policy Whitepaper tagged; ‘Power Sector Policy Directives and Timelines.’

The Whitepaper further mandated the lead industry regulator, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) “to clearly convey the need for tariff review consistent with provisions of Section 76 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005, and abide by the requirement for periodic major and minor reviews and processing of valid claims for deficits in tariff as provided for in the rules for tariff regulation”.

Further provisions of the policy document made available to Business Hilights Abuja Bureau chief on Wednesday, averred that “Government policy recognises that the current consumer tariff must rise to cover all costs of gas, transmission and distribution. This is necessary for distribution companies to raise capital, and for the industry to be self-sustaining without government financial support.

Federal Government made it clear that “This can only be justified after meters are more widely installed and services improve so that consumers pay for what they consume and not for the inefficiencies of operators. In the meantime, NERC (Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission) should enforce regulatory processes already in place for operators to make claims for verified deficits in their tariff.”

Government also agreed that evidences are rife that unless consumers are truly metered, chances of higher electricity tariffs collection by Discos would remain slim.

While regretting the observed low prepaid meter penetration and associated poor service which had been the major challenges in tariff issues, government accordingly, directed NERC to henceforth set and enforce targets for Discos and meter asset providers to roll out meters.