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DisCos fume as NERC distances self, FG from tariff increase

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The electricity distribution companies have expressed shock over the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) distancing itself from the planned increase in the tariff that is expected to begin this week.

Almost all the 11 companies have notified their customers that tariff on electricity would increase from July 1, 2020, a plan which NERC had announced and would have implemented in April but dropped due to outbreak of Covid-19.

The Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, had similarly told the National Assembly last week that there was no going back on the new tariff as the government would no longer finance the sector, but NERC has reportedly distanced itself and the Federal Government from the tariff increase.

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The Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Sunday Oduntan, disclosed yesterday that NERC had warned the companies not to mention its name or the Federal Government in any communication about the tariff increase.

“This is certainly very unfair. We cannot make a decision about a very critical aspect of the sector like tariff without a nod from the regulator (NERC).”

Oduntan, who said NERC’s silence on the planned increase in tariff was no longer golden, further explained:

“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 its name or that of the Federal government in any public communications on tariffs. “

We are following standard processes of tariff adjustments in the sector with approvals from NERC and the FG.”

Oduntan, who said that the utility companies believed in the rule of law, noted that the decision on tariff could only be carried out with approval.

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