January 25, 2012
The Board of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission will meet on Thursday to take final decisions on the proposed new electricity tariff, especially its implementation details and date.
The board is expected to fix a February date for the formal announcement of the tariff structure.
The Chairman, NERC, Mr. Sam Amadi, who disclosed this in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Monday night, said there had been some delays in the implementation of the new tariff structure because the commission was working hard to ensure that customer issues that might likely arise in future were properly addressed.
The new tariff was supposed to have taken effect on January 1, 2012.
He said, “The Board will be meeting on Thursday. This is to determine the best time to announce and to start the implementation of the new tariff. From all indications, we may announce the tariff next month – February.”
According to the NERC boss, implementation of the new tariff will not take effect immediately after the announcement of the tariff structure.
The increase in tariff, Amadi also noted, would not be 100 per cent across the board, as some factors would be put into consideration to determine the degree of price differential.
The difference in the level of price change, he explained, would be based on factors, like the capacity of the different power distribution companies, the different categories of customers on board, cost of service to customers, location (area), cost of producing power vis-à-vis the area, and the number of customers per location.
Amadi maintained that in a bid to holistically address likely customer issues that might arise after the upward review of tariffs, there was a final opportunity for customers to meet with it at a forum. He said the commission had, in the past, organised several forums in this regard for customers.
He explained that NERC had concluded its meetings with other stakeholders in the business, and would go ahead to announce and subsequently implement the tariff when customer matters had been satisfactorily addressed.
“Right now, we are putting final touches to the document,” he told our correspondent.
The tariff review is part of the ongoing reforms in the power sector.
Amadi had earlier said the new electricity tariff being proposed in line with the ongoing reforms in the power sector would take effect from January, 2012.
He said President Goodluck Jonathan had granted the approval for the new tariff to take effect in January.
Amadi said the reforms were hinged on the ability of price to play its natural role of catalysing efficient allocation of resources, thereby promoting availability, affordability and accessibility of electric power to all Nigerians.
He said the approval would enable the commission to engage further with all stakeholders and also align the review date with the calendar of most businesses, especially those in the Nigerian electricity supply industry.