FG halts electricity tariffs hike

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Minister of Power, Sale Mamman
Minister of Power, Sale Mamman

Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, on Thursday said the new electricity tariff will take effect at the end of this month when Federal Government/Labour talks must have ended.

He said the role of the government is not to set tariffs but to provide policy guidance and an enabling environment for the regulator to protect consumers and for investors to engage with them.

The minister said: “Bi-annual minor reviews to adjust factors such as inflation are part of the process for a sustainable and investable NESI (Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry).

“To promote a constructive conclusion of the dialogue with the Labour Centres (through the Joint Ad-Hoc Committee), I have directed NERC (Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission) to forestall the implementation of the duly performed minor review (which adjusted tariffs between N2 per kWh and N4 per kWh) until the conclusion of the Joint Ad Hoc Committee’s work at the end of January 2021.

“This will allow for the outcome of all resolutions from the Committee to be implemented together.

“The administration is committed to creating a sustainable, growing and rules-based electricity market for the benefit of all Nigerians.

“The Administration and the Ministry of Power will also continue to devise means to provide support for vulnerable Nigerians while ensuring we have a sustainable NESI.”

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According to Mamman, the Federal Government has been subsidising electricity cost by 55 per cent.

The minister said in a statement: “I would like to affirm that these reports (about tariff hike) are inaccurate and false. Unfortunately, these reports have led to confusion with the public.

“On the contrary, the government continues to fully subsidise 55 per cent of on-grid consumers in bands D and E and maintain the lifeline tariff for the poor and underprivileged.

“Those citizens have experienced no changes to tariff rates from what they have paid historically (aside from the recent minor inflation and forex adjustment).

“Partial subsidies were also applied for bands A, B and C in October 2020.”

Mamman said some of the achievements of the ongoing negotiations are the accelerated rollout of the National Mass Metering Plan, clampdown on estimated billing, improved monitoring of the Service-Based Tariff and the reduction in tariff rates for bands A to C in October 2020 (“that were funded by the creative use of taxes”).

The minister insisted that the regulator must be allowed to perform its function without undue interference.

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) kicked against the tariff hike.

The Union described the increment as anti-people and demanded its immediate reversal.

NANS President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, told reporters: “After extensive deliberations, we reject the recent hike in electricity tariff.”

He said while other countries were doing everything possible to ease the economic challenges occasioned by COVID-19 on citizens, the Nigerian government is making life more difficult for its people.

“NANS will fight against any hike in electricity tariff until prepaid meters are provided for every household at no extra cost to the consumers. We call on NERC to reverse this hike or face mass action.

“These resolutions will be pursued by all structures of NANS until the reversal of the hike in the price is implemented by the appropriate agency of government.

“We will not hesitate to collaborate with other civil society organisations to ensure the hike is reversed,” Asefon said.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria has successfully transmitted an enhanced all-time peak of 5,552.80MW recorded by the power sector yesterday at 8.15 pm.

It said this all-time peak surpassed the last peak generation of 5,520.40MW which was also effectively transmitted by TCN on October 3 by 32.40MW.

TCN said: “The new peak is an indication of the gradual but consistent growth in the capability of the power sector under the present administration.

“With the capacity to transmit 8,100MW, TCN successfully transmitted the enhanced peak through the nation’s grid at a frequency of 50.08Hz.

“The Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Sule Abdulaziz, encourages all sector players to work together to ensure sustained improvement in the power sector.

“TCN has continued to build more substations as well as install additional transformers in various substations nationwide.

“It is also restringing old transmission lines to further increase their capacity to transmit more bulk electricity for Discos nationwide.

“As at date, TCN can efficiently wheel increased generation through the national grid.”