Despite the epileptic power supply in most parts of the country and the rejection of a hike in electricity tariff by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) yesterday insisted on going ahead with its implementation of the new tariff.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, Chairman of NERC, Dr Sam Amadi, noted that the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) II which took effect on June 1, 2012, envisaged that the fixed charge and energy charge components would gradually increase annually till 2015.
With the fixed charge component of the MYTO II already increased by an average of 50 per cent while the energy charges are up by about 7 per cent.
For instance, the fixed charge which used to be N500 per month on the Residential (R2 – customers, who use single or three phased metres) category across all the 11 distribution companies (discos) is now up by an average of 50 per cent.
The 11 discos have different rates based on the cost of producing and delivering power to residents in their areas of operation, NERC commissioner in charge of market competition and rates, Eyo Ekpo, explained.
But kicking against the latest figures because of the epileptic electricity supply and the low purchasing power of the people, the NLC in a statement said there has been no corresponding improvement in power supply to warrant increase in tariffs.
However, the NERC boss said before the tariffs took effect last year, the assumption “were validated by relevant public and private institutions, including acclaimed experts and academics.”
Dr. Amadi admitted that the discos have not been committed to meeting their obligations in the MYTO, saying, “NERC recognises that quality of service has not seen significant improvement,” but insisted that “the tariffs are fair.”
He, therefore, urged the NLC and other stakeholders who feel the tariffs were unjustified to approach the commission for consideration just as he revealed that the commission was currently considering the entry from the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which are concerned about the fixed charge component on small businesses.
He added that improvement in quality of service is expected to take root when the preferred bidders take over ownership of the privatised Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor companies.