The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has postponed the take-off of the new electricity tariff by the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos).
This was contained in a tariff order dated March 31st and jointly signed by James Momoh, NERC Chairman; and Dafe Akpeneye, NERC Commissioner, Legal Licensing and Compliance.
According to NERC, the increment, which was meant to take effect from 1 April, postponed the order for a number of reasons, including that 60 per cent of electricity customers are unmetered nationwide and that customers are only willing to pay the new rates only if the electric companies improved hours and quality of service.
It noted that the aforementioned reasons are a “major impediment to both an immediate tariff review and revenue protection by DisCos”.
The notice also stated that the tariff increment was suspended due to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, noting that the pandemic “has significantly impacted the ability of DisCos to meter customers through their meter asset provider scheme (MAP)”.
“The Orders of the Commission (Order No NERC/GL/184/2019 To NERC/GL/184/2019) titled “THE DECEMBER 2019 MINOR REVIEW OF MULTI-YEAR TARIFF ORDER (MYTO) 2015 AND MINIMUM REMITTANCE ORDER FOR THE YEAR 2020” shall remain in force until 30 June 2020 when a new Minor Review Order shall be issued by the Commission.
“There shall be no increase in tariffs of end-use customers on 1 April 2020,” the notice read.
NERC also requested that DisCos also comply with the minimum remittance order which mandated distribution companies to remit to the power sector value chain a minimum amount regardless of whether they collect the money from their customers or now.