The embattled Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, defended the decision of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to hold back the implementation of up to three consecutive tariff reviews owing to factors he articulated on Channels Television early morning show yesterday in Abuja.
He said it would be difficult to allow the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) in Nigeria’s power market charge new rates on electricity they supply to their customers across the country because the country does not have an accurate record of electricity consumers in the Discos’ networks or enough customers that are metered by the Discos. Fashola, stated that in as much as the tariff was important to the commercial operations of the electricity market, the government would want to see that it is fair, and would do this by properly dimensioning the market.
He further posited that it was impossible to have a fair tariff in an electricity market that has just about seven million households as its recognized customers out of Nigeria’s 180 million people, adding that proper consumers’ enumeration was required to establish the true basis for calibrating tariffs in the sector. He also noted that the Discos would have to improve on their deployment of meters to consumption points, and that until these were done, approving a cost reflective tariff for the market looked difficult.
The portcitynews believes that this may come as a temporary relief to consumers who are more often than not frustrated from lack of proper metering and estimated bills are forwarded to them monthly whilst they experience power outages yet still get to clear these outrageous bills at the end of the month or get disconnected and at the end of it all coerced to pay re-connection fees too.