By AbuSatar Hamed
ABUJA – President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that there should be a nationwide mass-metering programme in an effort by the Federal Government to put a stop to estimated and arbitrary billing for electricity.
According to a release e-signed and made available to StarTrend Int’l magazine & www.startrendinternational.com by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Buhari has also approved a waiver of the import levy on meters, so that those that do not have meters can be supplied as early as possible at reasonable costs.
He urged the general public and all stakeholders in the power sector to disregard any report of an arbitrary tariff increase affecting Nigerians.
Meanwhile, In response to media reports that there is an increase in tariffs for Nigerians, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has clarified that tariff reviews going forward will only follow service-based principles.
According to a statement by James. A. Momoh, Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, under these service-based principles DISCOs will only be able to review tariff rates for customers when they consult with customers and commit to increasing the number of hours of supply per day as well as the quality of service.
“In all cases poor and vulnerable Nigerians will not experience any increase. In line with these expectations, DISCOs are directed to engage with their customers on a Service Based Tariff structure. Under the Service Based Tariff Structure, DISCOs can only review tariffs for customers under the following conditions:
*Customers are consulted and communicated a guaranteed level of electricity service by the DISCOs based on hours of supply
*Customers are metered
*No estimated billing through the strict enforcement of the capping regulation. This means that unmetered customers will not experience any cost increase beyond what is chargeable to metered customers in the same area.
“Even under the above conditions, there will be no change in tariff for the most vulnerable as tariffs for those consuming 50KW or less remain frozen. Customers receiving less than 12 hours of supply will also not experience any change in tariffs.”