Buhari bans estimated billing, order mass metering for Nigerian electricity consumers
NEWSMAN, Abuja – As part of an effort to put an end to the estimated and arbitrary billing for electricity, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the commencement of a nationwide mass-metering programme to enable the early and affordable distribution of metres.
Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof. James Momoh, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, urged the public and all stakeholders in the power sector to disregard any reports of an arbitrary tariff increase affecting Nigerians, adding that the president’s directive was in response to yearnings of Nigerians.
Momoh said the waiver of the import levy on meters had been put in place to protect the poor and vulnerable in cases of tariff reviews, and added that tariff reviews would only follow service-based principles.
“Under these service-based principles Distribution Companies (DISCOs) will only be able to review tariff rates for customers when they consult with customers, commit to increasing the number of hours of supply per day and 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” Momoh said.
The chairman gave conditions under which the Service Based Tariff Structure, DISCOs can use to review tariffs for customers, and also revealed that customers receiving less than 12 hours of supply will also not experience any change in tariffs, News Agency of Nigeria reported.
“Customers are consulted and communicated a guaranteed level of electricity service by the DISCOs based on hours of supply, and 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,” he said.
Momoh added that that under the aforementioned conditions, there would be no change in tariff for the most vulnerable as tariffs for those consuming 50KW or less remained frozen.