As the reforms in the power sector take shape, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC’s bi-annual review of the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) in Abuja, has brought about marginal increase in the monthly charges to be paid by certain classes of electricity consumer nationwide.
The increase which is meant to affect the different customers within the tariff classes diversely would however not disturb the total fixed charge components usually embedded in customer’s monthly electricity bills. With this new structure in place, the monthly fixed charge of customers living within the Ikeja Distribution company axis will drop to N750 from its former tariff of N894.56k. However, residents of Abuja operating under the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company would maintain its old tariff of N702.
The change in tariff also initiates an increase in the retail price of electricity supplied to residential customers within the Abuja distribution network by N1.45k from its previous N13.25k to N14.70k. on the other hand; its Ikeja counterparts will experience no increase in their electricity retail price.
In another interactive session with online media practitioners, Mr Eyo Ekpo commissioner of NERC explained the reason behind the tariff increase while urging Nigerians to go along with the reforms as it would in the long run guaranty stability.
According to him, fixed charges are incurred by all service providers, as these charges cover the costs of having to go from state to state and build branches. In his words ‘what we have done is to separate that out. When you look at the tariff of the sector, distribution for instance, you will see that there are 11 different distribution companies with 11 different set of tariff broken down into 14 classes. So they are actually 155 different electricity tariff that people pay in this country depending on who you are or whether you are an industry, government or individual’
He however stated explicitly that the issue of power shortage is glaring, but that NERC is trying all they can to lay a foundation for a power sector that actually functions.
He went on to appeal to the public, explaining that the charges paid for telecom and water also include fixed charges how much more for power.
Concluding his talk, he states that the 62 years it has taken Nigeria to deliver 400 megawatts as about the same period of time that other Asian countries, whom we even started this journey before have outstripped us. He concluded by saying that the electricity sector should not be a hindrance to our economy but an enabler.