19 June 2012

Nigeria: Tariff Hike - Estimated Billing Methodology Ready Soon - NERC

Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi, has said that the new methodology for estimated billing aimed at protecting unmetered consumers from unfair billing would be ready soon before consumers start feeling the impact of the increase.

This is even as he informed that NERC has officially adopted the report of the Committee on public enquiry on metering in Nigeria chaired by Bamidele Aturu. "We adopted the recommendations and are developing implementation plans, the report has been sent to the President and the Minister of Power for their consideration and action," Amadi said.

Although the NERC boss did not say specifically when the new methodology would take effect, he however, informed that the Commission has completed the methodology in-house and that a review has been scheduled for this Thursday, with Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the various Distribution Companies (Discos), after which a public consultation would be held to seal the methodology.

Speaking while addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, Amadi said, "We have finished the methodology in-house, so before most consumers will begin to feel the impact of the new tariff we would have completed the methodology. We are reviewing it with the Discos next Thursday, and during the public consultation we would be able to seal the methodology."

On the impact of the new tariff so far on power supply, Amadi who noted that it was too early to judge the impacts of the new Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO 2) on the sector, said while a very significant increase in power generation capacity would not happen in the next few weeks, government, he said, was committed to ensuring that the available capacity, which stood at 3,600MW as at last week, was effectively distributed.

He explained that the tariff was a booster to encourage investors to continue to engage in the privatisation process even as he expressed optimism that more investors would throng the sector following the rising level of credibility in the industry.

While urging electricity consumers to report all suspicious demands from PHCN staff, he pledged NERC's readiness to deal with all issues of corruption and poor governance that have bedeviled the sector, disclosing that the Commission has stipulated new conditions for customer service required from the Discos, even as he reiterated that criminal cases would be handed over that to the Econimic and Financial Crimes Commission.

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