The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has assuaged fears over the effect of the proposed tariff increase that has been suspended by the federal government of Nigeria.
NERC chairman, Prof. James Momoh, who spoke to newsmen in Abuja, said that the proposed tariff increase would not affect poor electricity customers when it eventually took effect.
Speaking after his presentation to the Senate Committee on Power at the commission’s head office in the federal capital territory, Prof Momoh said that a mechanism had been put in place to protect the masses from the adverse impacts of the hike.
He said; “It is not going to affect the poor. We will make sure that the downtrodden and the people you feel for at the moment will not be affected by any increase we will be bringing forth.
“It will be based on the hours of service and the quality of power available there. We don’t want the poor to subsidize the payment of the rich. In other words, we must make sure that the poor are not sacrificed in the process of tariff increase,” Prof Momoh added.
This came days after the Power distribution companies (Discos) said the capped tariff system introduced by industry watchdog, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), into electricity pricing cost them N13.9 billion in revenue loss every month.
The Discos requested realistic indices before the execution of a new value-reflective tariff regime earlier timed to kick off on 1st July.
NERC had in late June postponed the proposed tariff hike to the first quarter 0f 2020, citing the outrageous size of Nigeria’s unmetered population (60%), which it said was a “major impediment to both an immediate tariff review and revenue protection of DisCos,” among other grounds.
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