Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has directed the 11 Distribution Companies to suspend the electricity tariff hike expected to begin Tuesday until June 30, citing global effects of COVID-19 and its impact on the average Nigerian.
The Commission which had planned the hike for today, said it is aware of the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy and its impact on the average Nigerian.
NERC said the stakeholders’ views show consumers are willing to pay appropriate rates for services rendered by the DisCos but must be of quality and with adequate metering.
The Commission also confirmed Daily Trust report on Monday about metering hurdles as it said a ‘wide’ 60 percent metering gap is a major hindrance with many complaints of arbitrary billing.
It also said the COVID-19 pandemic has obstructed importation of components for local meter assembly to supply consumers under the Meter Assets Provider (MAP) Regulation, and that it was discussing with MAP and DisCos to review the expectations.
NERC then gave the DisCos 21 days from today, to submit new PIPs on how they can recover their costs prudently with marginal profit by 30 June 2021 especially on how customers will be guaranteed improved services.
Reacting, President of the Nigeria Consumer Protection Network, Kunle Kola Olubiyo said the suspension was timely as he had called for that earlier.
“Even if you and I can afford any amount of money for electricity tariffs increase, what about our brothers and sisters in the villages and the vulnerable poor Nigerian consumers? That’s the point,” Olubiyo said.