NERC justifies electricity tariff increase, say N3.2tr saved since implementation

Elizabeth AtimeApril 19, 20244 min

NERC justifies electricity tariff increment, says N3.2 trillion has been saved for the federal government since the removal of subsidy.

Chairman of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Sanusi Garba on Thursday stated that the sum of N3.2 trillion has been saved for the federal government since the removal of subsidy from electricity leading to the recent increase in tariff.

Speaking at a stakeholders meeting called by the House of Representatives committee on Power, Garba said that current investments in the sector were not enough to guarantee a steady power supply. 

He also warned that if nothing concrete is done to address issues in the power sector including the fluctuation of foreign exchange rates and non-payment for gas, the sector will be in crisis saying before the recent review in tariff, Distribution Companies (DISCOS) were only obligated to pay 10 per cent of their energy invoice, adding that the lack of cash backing for subsidy is creating a liquidity challenge in the sector. 

He said further that as a result of the non-payment of subsidies, gas supply and power generation have continued to dip, adding that the continuous decline of generation and system collapse are largely linked to liquidity challenges.  

In his remarks, the Vice Chairman of NERC, Musiliu Oseni who also justified the recent increase in tariff said the increment was needed to save the sector from total shutdown. 

Chairman of the House Committee on Power, Rep. Victor Nwokolo (PDP, Delta) said the essence of the meeting was to address the recent increase in tariff and the issue of band A and others. 

Nwokolo said the officials of NERC and DISCOS  have given the committee useful Information, adding “We have not concluded with them because the Transmission Company of Nigeria were not here and the Generation Companies too. 

We will hold further consultations with them by next week. But from what they have said which is true is that without the change in tariff, which was due in 2022, the industry lacks the capital to bring the needed change. 

“Of course, with the population explosion in Nigeria, the areas being covered are beyond what they have estimated in the past and because they need to expand their network, they also need more money. Every day, there are changes to the exchange rate and there are also threats to power installations because of security, thereby increasing the overhead. 

The committee has not fully agreed with them because we are not saying either yes or no because we want to get more input and also find out the possibility of gas being sold to them in naira. More of this is dependent on generation and without the gas, you cannot have power. 

“The committee cannot take any decision to stop the increase in tariff. That decision can only be taken by the entire House and not at the Committee level. There must be a House resolution to stop it. 

“That is why we are happy that the House is not sitting next week as that will afford us an opportunity for wider consultation so that we know what you present to the entire House. We are interested in the timeline for improvement in service delivery because what Nigerians want is service delivery because light will take care of our security challenges and many other things”

Elizabeth Atime

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