NERC debunks new electricity tariff hike, says last review was done in Dec, 2021

Oredola Adeola

 The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has denied that the government has approved an increase in electricity tariff, claiming that the last tariff review was approved on Dec. 31, 2021, and became effective in February 2022.

Sanusi Garba, Chairman NERC, made this known at a press briefing to clarify media reports over tariff hike in Abuja, on Friday.

The Chairman said there was no tariff increase as reported in some sections of the media.

Recall that the Nation Newspaper on Thursday in a report claimed that NERC had approved a raise for electricity power distribution companies (Discos).

The publication claimed that the approval was contained in the Commission’s Order document with the No: NERC/304/2021, where it claimed the NERC Chairman, Sanusi Garba and Vice Chairman Musiliu Oseni signed on 29th December, 2021.
However, Engr. Sanusi in Abuja on Friday claimed that the  Commission has not approved any new tariff rate review in recent times. He revealed  that the last tariff review was approved on Dec. 31, 2021, and became effective in February 2022.
The NERC Chairman said, “I want to, on behalf of the management of NERC, clearly state that as of today, we have not approved any rate review and no indication that any Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) are increasing their tariff.
“If you notice that the rate you buy tariff has changed within the last one to three weeks, we want evidence. The information posted on the NERC website was the last tariff rate review in December 2021.
“Our function is to approve applications for tariffs for Distribution companies, and we have not received any.
“We have clearly said that we have an obligation by law to do a minor review every six months to take care of inflation, FOREX, and so on,” he said.
On the issue of ‘Eligible Customers Regulations’, Mr Musiliu Oseni, the Commissioner, Market Competition and Rates, said that the regulation was still in place.
Oseni further revealed that the regulation and the framework were also in place, adding that the commission issued a letter to the market operators to stop the recognition of certain potential customers.
He said that the customers were stopped because at that time, they had not secured the approval of the commission.
“As of today, we have a few customers that have been approved as eligible customers pending the review of the necessary documentation of other customers.
“Some of the customers that are yet to secure approval had some challenges which include that of the inability of their potential generator to sell additional capacity to them.
“Under that framework, many of the generators had a contract with Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), and you cannot contract the same capacity twice,” he said.
Oseni said that such generators were already making moves to renegotiate the contracted capacity made with NBET to free some capacity to sell to eligible customers.