Wednesday, October 21, 2020
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Tariff Hike: We have not received directive on new electricity tariff suspension -Discos

Electricity distribution companies (DisCos) in the country say they have not received any directive on the suspension of the increased electricity tariff from the federal government.

On September 1, the DisCos had announced that they have begun executing the new service-based reflective tariff (SRT) structure nationwide following the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had called for a nationwide strike to protest against the increase in electricity tariff and the price of petrol.

After a meeting with the federal government a few hours to the protest on Monday, the NLC and TUC suspended the proposed strike after brokering an agreement to halt the electricity tariff increase.

A top official of the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), the umbrella body of the DisCos, who spoke with TheCable, on Tuesday, said the federal government has not asked them to suspend the new tariff regime.

“DisCos haven’t received any order or directives from NERC on the suspension,” the ANED official said.

“FG had a meeting with NLC and reached the agreement. It’s the order from NERC that we react to as the regulator of the sector. Nothing yet.

“ANED has been told not to go to the press due to the ongoing discussions with FG and its agencies.

“It’s not a plug and play. There is a process involved with such adjustment. For example, there will be a shortfall if implemented. Who takes care of the shortfall? Also, there must be consultation, who takes care of that? So much is involved. We are watching and waiting.

“Also, for customers that have prepaid since September 1st, who pays back the refund? It’s not just straight forward stuff. In addition, what does the suspension mean? Cancellation? Reversal? Not clear yet.”

The suspension is to last for two weeks while a technical committee set up by the federal government examines the justification for a new cost-reflective tariff.

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