With Nigerians still reeling from spiralling inflation, a ‘dry’ Christmas and new year celebrations, preparing to pay children’s school fees, and hiding from the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, the FederalGovernment has delivered an additional bitter pill of electricity tariff hike of 50%, according to media reports.
A senior executive with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the government agency that announced the hike, declined to comment on phone Tuesday because he is still on holidays.
A response to a text message was still being expected from NERC spokesman, Mr. Michael Faloseyi, on the veracity of the increase.
The increase is coming just two months after NERC finally implemented a much opposed hike in November 2020.
According to a revised Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) signed by the new Chairman of NERC, Engr. Sanusi Garba, on December 30, 2020, and sighted Tuesday, the new tariff increase took effect on January 1, 2021, and supersedes the previous Order NERC/2028/2020.
In the new Order NERC/225/2020, the commission said it considered the 14.9% inflation rate rise in November 2020, foreign exchange of N379.4/$1 as of December 29, 2020, available generation capacity, US inflation rate of 1.22% and the Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) of the power firms to raise the tariff.
The revised Service Based Tariff (SBT) also saw increase in the rates payable by all classes of electricity users unlike the one of November 2020, that exempted low power getters.
This is effective till June 2021 while a Cost Reflective Tariff (CRT) expected to raise the new cost higher will be activated from June to December 2021, the NERC Order revealed.
Daily Trust had reported that in December, 2020, NERC notified that it had begun a review for another tariff, which has been completed and had taken effect from January 1, 2021.
NERC had raised tariff for the DisCos in September but that drew outrages from customers and the organised labour, prompting the federal government to suspend it while parties dialogued.
By November 1, 2020, the suspended tariff was implemented after some discounts were given for customers who get 12 hours and above power supply daily.
However, those with less than 12 hour supply did not get a tariff hike, according to the NERC order of November 2020.
▪︎ Additional reports by Daily Trust