Stakeholders seek suspension of new electricity tariff
ELECTRICITY consumers in the commercial and industrial sectors of the country, Wednesday called on the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to suspend the implementation of the new electricity tariff.
NERC, on December 23, approved a review of the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) 2.1 regime for commercial and industrial consumers on D3 with the take-off date of January 1.
Some members of the sector made the call at a consumer forum organised by NERC for commercial and industrial consumers in Abuja.
A representative of the Steel Manufacturers Association, Felix Okojie, said that 45 per cent increase in tariff for the commercial and industrial sector was astronomical and inappropriate.
He said that the increase had interrupted the long term planning by members of the association.
“The Multi Year Tariff Order 2012-2017 meant to run for five years formed the basis of our members long term planning.
“The current hike in tariff underscores the principle of fair play, as the differential prices from one distribution company to another constitute a disadvantage to the market players,“he said.
Okojie noted that the continued implementation of the new tariff would lead to increase in prices and possible closure of factories.
He urged the commission to approve a uniform tariff for all steel manufacturers in the country, regardless of the location.
He said that a situation where different rates were approved for the 11 distribution companies was unfair to the association.
President, Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria, Toyin Akinbodu, said that the new tariff was unreasonable and should be suspended.
He alleged that distribution companies connived with meter manufacturing companies to deny consumers access to the product.
President, Poultry Association of Nigeria, Sunday Ezeobiora, called on the commission to suspend the implementation of the new tariff, pending a wider consultation with relevant stakeholders.
Chairman, Hotel Owners Forum, Chike Ezeudeh, said that the increase would compel some management of hotels to sack their workers.
Earlier, Dr Sam Amadi, Chairman of NERC, said that the commission was convinced that getting the new tariff structure right was a critical component to secure the electricity industry in the country.
“We don’t have stable electricity in Nigeria because we have not made the right investments to build capacity,“ he said.
He said that the design of the tariff regime in Nigerian electricity market was based on the principle of allowing recovery of prudent cost incurred by efficient operators.
Amadi reiterated the commission’s commitment to ensuring that consumers got quality, efficient and affordable power supply.
He said that the commission would continue to make the tariff methodology and procedure transparent.
The chairman said that when power supply from the national grid was stable and adequate, there would be a significant decrease in the cost of energy.
Other stakeholders represented at the forum are Abuja Steel Mills, Association of Fast Food Confederation and Sunflag Group Ltd.
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