Without prior announcement but like a thief in the night, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission ignored the protests of Nigerians and approved a hike in electricity tariff with effect from September 1, 2020.
The increase comes three months after the tariff hike implementation slated for July 1 was halted by the National Assembly. The leadership of the National Assembly had prevailed on the distribution companies to shelve the date to the first quarter of 2021 due to the current economic challenges in Nigeria.
But obviously ignoring the agreement reached with the National Assembly, the NERC said that electricity customers, except those receiving less than 12 hours of power supply, would have to pay more for electricity starting from September 1, 2020.
The power sector sector regulatory agency said that the new tariff is based on the hours of electricity supply available to the customers.
According to the NERC document released on Tuesday, customers are categorised into maximum demand and non-maximum demand customers, as against the previous categories of residential, commercial and industrial customers, with different bands (A to E) depending on the level of supply.
For Ikeja Electric, a residential customer on single-phase receiving a minimum of 12 hours of supply will now pay N42.73 per KWh, up from N21.30 per kWh.
For Eko Electricity Distribution Company, a residential customer on single-phase receiving a minimum of 12 hours of supply will now pay N43.01 per kWh, up from N24 per kWh.
For Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, a residential customer on single-phase receiving between 12 to 16 hours of supply will now be charged N45.69 per KWh, up from N24.30 per kWh.
Kaduna Electric announced on Twitter on Monday night that non-MD receiving between 12 and 16 hours will be charged N50.10 per KWh, adding that the tariffs for customers receiving less than 12 hours had been temporarily frozen.
“Following consultations and directions on tariff policy, the commission hereby approves a deferment of the applicable tariffs for customers in service bands D and E (that is customers with a service commitment of less than an average of 12 hours supply per day over a period of one month) for the period September 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021,” NERC said.
It said the Discos would only be allowed to charge those customers the new tariffs upon investments that improve the quality of service experience, “thus migrating customers to higher service bands or another order of the commission.”