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An official at the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has stressed that the proposed tariff hike will not secure a reliable power supply.

NERC’s Head of Public Affairs, Dr. Usman Abba Arabi, explained that the commission was empowered under the EPSR Act to provide a cost reflective tariff, the Guardian reported.

He said that tariff increase would be implemented at “an appropriate time to ensure that the electricity market remains operational,” media reported.

Arabi said: “The NERC has never stated that only an increase in electricity tariff would guarantee a steady power supply in the country.

“The commission’s position had been that a review was necessary due to the economic recession in the country.”

Challenges affecting power supply

According to the official, the lack of payments received from electricity distribution companies (DISCO), and the multiple restraining court orders, placed constraints on the commission, the Guardian reported.

He added that the court orders also limit the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company from enforcing the market rules on Discos and other operators, media said.

The Guardian said: “Arabi explained that the other factors affecting electricity supply in the country include the inflation rate of 18.55%, the exchange rate of the naira per dollar and the current electricity generation of 4,000MW.”

Workers protest against ministry decisions

In other news, The Guardian reported that a protest broke out yesterday outside of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

According to media, members of the Senior Staff Association and Allied Electricity Company (SSAAEC) and the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), were protesting against the Minister’s plans to remove TCN’s managing director, Atiku Abubakar, and replace him with Usman Gor Mohammed, who is currently on the employment of the African Development Bank.