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It’s too early to ask Buhari to wade in on electricity tariff hike – Presidency


Nigeria’s Presidency has said demanding that President Muhammad Buhari should intervene in Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (NERC) plan to hike electricity tariff is not within his powers but that of the ministry of power and National electricity regulatory.

“The matter is strictly not within the purview of the President but the ministry of power and National Electricity Regulatory Commission,” Buhari’s spokesman Femi Adesina said in a statement on Monday.

“It’s rather too early to ask the president to wade in at this time.”

NERC in August 2019, published a minor review of tariff order, indicating that from 2020, consumers would pay a maximum N14 addition for every kilowatt-hour of energy, depending on their status and their distribution companies.

While the increase was expected to start from January, the new order has been suspended till April.

The Order, dated December 31, 2019, and signed by NERC Chairman, Prof. James Momoh and a Commissioner, Legal, Licencing and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye, noted that the Federal Government would, in the meantime, fund the revenue shortfall between the cost-reflective tariff and the actual tariff NERC allow customers to pay.

Since the President Muhammadu Buhari administration assumes office, as much as N1.3tr has been paid in bridging similar deficit, though the sector was originally designed to be self-sustainable.

Adesina, however, expressed the possibility of a presidential intervention before the new tariffs take effect at the beginning of April, noting that the president should only be consulted on the matter as a last resort.

“So, let’s leave it at that for now,” Adesina said.

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