NERC orders Discos to suspend new connections, insists new tariff starts Feb. 1

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has ordered the power distribution companies to suspend new connection until the customers are provided with meters.
The directive came with the insistence by the power regulatory body that the take off date for the new electricity  tariff (MYTO 2015) remains February 1, 2016.

NERC in December announced the new tariff which has since stirred public outcry. The new rate which removed fixed charges has also attracted condemnation of the Senate which has also pushed for its suspension.

“We wish to state that at no time did the Commission change the date of the take-off of the new tariff and it is in view of this that we told distribution companies to abide by our directive not to connect new customers without first providing them meters” NERC said in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Usman Abba-Arabi.

The statement which quoted the  acting Head of the Commission Anthony Akah, noted that the removal of fixed charge under the new tariff regime “was in response to electricity consumers’ complaints and a measure to ensure electricity distribution companies improve on service delivery as their income is dependent on the quantity of electricity used by their customers.”

Akah said that the Commission will continue to engage stakeholders including members of the National Assembly (NASS) to address their concerns on the new tariff regime. “NERC holds National Assembly in high esteem and we are sure that both institutions are working to ensure that the National and consumer interests are protected.”

He explained that there are inbuilt consumer protection mechanisms and incentives for improved service delivery by the DISCOs and fair return on investment in the new Tariff Order.

The  statement noted that NERC in implementing the cost reflective tariff will effectively monitor and enforce all service delivery agreements in the new tariff order.

The new Tariff Order aside from eliminating fixed charge has a robust mechanism to ensure that electricity distribution companies fully meter their consumers and eliminate “crazy” billing within one year.

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