Electricity consumers, NERC disagree on fixed charge increase

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Chairman-Nigerian-Electricity-Regulatory-Commission-Mr_-Sam-AmadiElectricity consumers on Monday complained about the increase in the fixed charges.

While some described the development as unnecessary, others called for stable power supply before any increase in charges could be implemented.

However, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission refuted the increase in charges, stressing that electricity tariff for each passing year had been scheduled since 2011.

A consumer at the Power Holding Company of Nigeria’s office in Wuse, Abuja, Mr. Bright Ekong, said the N525 increase from N225 to N750 was outrageous.

“The last time I checked, their (PHCN) fixed charges was N225, but when I recharged recently, I saw that the tariff had increased to N750 without tangible improvement in power supply. This is outrageous and the government needs to address it,” he said.

Another consumer, who simply identified himself as Fidelis, said he last paid N500 as fixed charge, but wondered why it had sudden risen to N750.

But reacting to the development, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, told our correspondent that the tariff was not increased.

He said, “I’m so surprised that people are worrying about the tariff. The tariff is the cost of serving people and it was structured in 2011 that at a point in time, this or that will be the rate. So, it has been scheduled for certain years, precisely for five years.

“The structure doesn’t change, it remains the same. Nothing was increased. There is the tariff that came in 2011; the one for 2012 is there, while those for 2013 and 2014 are also there as well as for other years.”

Amadi explained that the Multi-Year-Tariff-Order provided a 15-year tariff path for the Nigerian electricity industry.

This, he said, was with minor reviews each year because of changes in a limited number of parameters such as inflation and gas prices.

The NERC boss said major reviews would be done every five years when all of the inputs would be re-evaluated with stakeholders.

The MYTO is a methodology established by the commission for regulating electricity prices.

The commission said this was pursuant to the authority given to it under Section 76 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005.

 

Information from Punch was used in this report.