Nigerian consumers will henceforth pay more for electricity consumption as indicated in the new electricity tariff approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for the electricity distribution companies (DisCos).
Based on the new tariff regime, which would take effect next year, consumers would no longer be made to pay fixed charges by any DisCo as they would only pay for the quantity of electricity consumed.
Residential consumers (R2) will pay on the average 48 percent more than what they are currently paying as contained in the Multi-Year Tariff Order 2.1 for 2015. Consumers who are paying ₦19.96 as energy charge currently, will now pay ₦29.56, representing an increase of 48.1 percent; those under the Eko Disco will now pay ₦28.75 instead of ₦18.75, representing 53.3 percent increase.
Those under Ikeja, Kaduna, and Benin Discos, who used to pay ₦14.96, ₦20.66 and ₦18.46 for a unit of electricity, will now pay ₦22.96, ₦31.71, and ₦27.72, respectively. These represent 53.5 percent, 53.5 percent and 49.62 percent rise for the three Discos, respectively.
According to the document released by NERC, commercial consumers (C2) under the Ibadan and Enugu Discos, who used to pay ₦26.79 and ₦29.05 for a unit of energy, will now pay ₦38.87 and ₦42.4. These represent a 45.1 percent and 45.9 percent increase in the respective rates.
NERC said, “Residential customer classification (R2) in the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company will no longer pay ₦702 as fixed charge every month. Their energy charge will increase by ₦9.60. Also, residential customers (R2) in Eko and Ikeja electricity distribution areas will no longer pay ₦750 fixed charge. They will be getting ₦10 and ₦8 increase respectively in their energy charges.
“Similarly, the burden of ₦800 and ₦750 fixed charges will be lifted off the shoulders of Kaduna and Benin electricity consumers. These consumers will see an increase of ₦11.05 and ₦9.26, respectively in their energy charges. “Commercial customers’ classification (C2) in Ibadan and Enugu will no longer pay fixed charges of ₦17,010 and ₦22,141. Their energy charges will increase by ₦12.08 and ₦13.35, respectively.”
For other consumer classes, the Commission stated that the full details of the new tariff regime would be advertised in major national dailies and on its website.
Speaking on the development, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, said the new tariff regime came with renewed commitments by the electricity distribution companies to rapidly improve the quantity and quality of electricity supply.
He said the tariff order would also encourage the Discos to develop new sources of supply within their franchises to increase the quantity and quality of supply to target customers on a willing buyer and willing seller basis.
NERC further stated that henceforth, every Disco should meter all its customers, adding that the metering policy would be strictly enforced.
It said, “For those willing electricity customers who paid for meters under the Cash Advance Payment Metering Initiative but have yet to be metered within the allowable 60 days, they will no longer be billed by the Discos under the new tariff regime. The Discos will not disconnect them. There is zero tolerance for over-billing of customers.
“An unmetered customer who is disputing his estimated bill will not be expected to pay the disputed bill. He will pay his last undisputed bill as the contested bill goes through the dispute resolution process. This is a departure from the old practice, which prescribes that customers should first settle the bill, while dispute resolution is in process.”
NERC also declared that no Disco would be allowed to connect new customers without metering them first.
This, it said, was to close the wide metering gap of over 50 percent and reduce the high incidence of collection losses in the Nigeria electricity supply industry.