On Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the implementation of cost-reflective tariff for electricity supply in the country. The implementation of the new tariff is expected to come into effect from 1st September 2020 and has been dubbed the Service-Based Tariff by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
In January, the country’s electricity regulatory body, NERC, announced that there will be an increase in the cost of electricity starting from April, however, this was stalled following pleas from the National Assembly for a postponement of the increment due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on citizens.
According to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, the tariff increment will take effect only in areas where there are up to twelve (12) hours of electricity daily. Also, poor and vulnerable households are exempted from the new tariff as the NERC has urged the public to disregard news flying around about arbitrary increment in the electricity tariff. The increment is only meant for the ‘rich’ as the government aims to stop electricity subsidies for them. There will also be no change in the tariff of customers who consume less than 50 kilowatts of electricity.
In a recent statement, the NERC said President Buhari has also directed a nationwide mass-metering programme in a bid to halt estimated billing across the country. The President also approved a waiver on import duties and levies on the meters so that the importation can be seamless and affordable.
The Federal Government, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the World Bank are working towards mass metering so as to ensure that estimated billing is totally eliminated. The new tariff is believed to be one of the conditions given to Nigeria by the World Bank for a loan the country seeks from the international bank.
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