Electricity Tariff Increase Won’t Affect The Poor, Says NERC -TimeTestedNews


The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Chairman, Prof. James Momoh, said on Monday that the proposed tariff increase that has been suspended will not affect poor electricity customers when it takes effect.
In his presentation to the Senate Committee on Power in Abuja, Momoh told the lawmakers who were in their oversight function at the head office ofthe commission that a mechanism has been put in place to absorb the masses of the adverse impacts of the hike.
According to him,“It is not going to affect the poor. We will make sure that the downtrodden and the people you feel for at the moment will not be affected by any increase we will be bringing forth.
“It will be based on the hours of service and the quality of power available there. We don’t want the poor to subsidize the payment of the rich. In other words, we must make sure that the poor are not sacrificed in the process of tariff increase.”
The committee chairman, Senator Gabriel Suswan urged the commission to handle the tariff increase with caution because of the economic hardship it could inflict on the people.
He told Momoh that the Senate is opposed to the proposed increase in tariff but having viewed that most Nigerians cannot even feed themselves at the moment owing to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commission has “to make haste slowly” about the tariff.
Explaining what “to make haste slowly” meant, the lawmaker said the NERC has reviewed the tariff but the economy has contracted by over 2 per cent due to COVID.
“By their own Programme, they (NERC) is supposed to activated tariff increase by 1st of July.
We met with them at the level of National Assembly and appealed that given the circumstances of the COVID they should tally awhile let Nigerians a beat recover from the economic shocks before they can activate that tariff.”
According to him, the commission suspended the hike because of the pleas of the Senate. He insists that the suspension of the hike does not rule out its eventual increase.