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29 June 2020

DisCos claim NERC approved decision to hike electricity tariff

Power distribution companies (Discos) on Sunday revealed that the decision to increase electricity tariffs beginning from 1st July was not a unilateral one made by electricity companies in the power value chain.

The Discos maintained that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was carried along in the process as power distributors could not hike tariffs without the involvement of the regulator.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, the Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Sunday Oduntan noted that the NERC had warned Discos not to mention its name or that of the Nigerian government in any public communication about the tariff increase.

“We are in a regulated sector. We cannot take a decision about a very critical aspect of the sector like tariff without a nod from the regulator.

“We would like to inform Nigerians that tariff review (upward or downwards) is the primary responsibility of NERC as our regulator. We are required to submit our proposals and they have the final say.

“Hence we were surprised to receive a letter from NERC to all the Discos warning them not to mention their name or that of the Federal Government in any public communications on tariffs.

“The fact that the action is deliberately made to look unilateral is capable of creating public resistance, effectively setting Discos up for failure,” he said.

Nearly all the 11 Discos have been notifying their customers since last week that electricity tariffs will be reviewed upward from 1st July, a decision the NERC announced would have been implemented in April but for the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, Sale Mamman, the Minister of Power, had informed the National Assembly that there was no going back on the planned tariff given that the government would no longer fund the power sector.

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