The Nigerian media is reporting on plans to increase tariffs yet again. In a number of newspapers, it has been reported that the Nigerian House of Representatives is concerned about plans by the distribution companies and the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to review tariffs upward.
The House has requested that NERC explain the reasoning for the review, and what the impact on Nigerians will be. Particularly, the House is concerned consumers will be negatively affected.
The House has further directed NERC and the distribution companies to begin installation of prepaid meters for every consumer across the country.
Concern over tariff increases
Nigerian lawmakers decided that maintenance or service fees due by customers are illegal and not in inline with best practice.
“It should be of concern that the NERC has directed all the DISCOs to comply with the directive for upward review of tariff because there are attempts by the DISCOs to devise another way of collecting these monies under another guise,” said Solomon Maren, the member representing Bokkos/Mangu Federal Constituency of Plateau state.
Maren continued: “In many parts of the world, electricity tariffs are reducing due to fallen oil prices as much of the electricity is generated by gas which is a component of crude oil.
“If not checked, these unwholesome practices will continue to the detriment of the Nigerian masses, which will also slow down the development of SMEs which spur industrial development.
“These Discos took over the distribution of electricity from PHCN close to two years now, what have they added to the sector since they took over that warrants an increase in tariff?” Maren queried.