NERC allays fears over planned electricity tariff hike (LEAD2)
By Olisemeka Obeche
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), says there will be no increase in electricity tariff without consultations.
NERC’s National Chairman, Prof. James Momoh, who made the disclosure during a news conference in Abuja on Monday, explained that what the commission had done was a tariff review which was usually done twice a year.
Recall that NERC had on Saturday published new tariffs for the different DisCos and categories of customers on its website which was signed by its chairman and Secretary Prof. James Momoh and Dafe Akpeneye respectively. The commission said that the order super-ceded the earlier one issued on the subject matter, and “the new tariff regime takes effect from Jan. 1, 2020.’’
NERC noted that the order had taken into consideration other actual changes in relevant macroeconomic variables and available generation capacity as at Oct. 31, 2019.
The commission said the order was in line with updating of the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) operating -2015 Tariff Order for 2019.
According to NERC, this is in line with provisions of the amended MYTO Methodology.“Projections are made for the variables for year 2020 and beyond based on the best available information. The commission, however, based adjustments in the tariff on the relevant data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) such as average monthly inflation rate of 11.3 per cent, exchange rate of N309.97.’’
It said that projections are made for the variables for Year 2020 and beyond based on the best available information
It also added that it obtained its data on inflation rate from the U.S. inflation which projected 1.8 per cent for the period of January to October 2019.
According to the commission, the price of gas, which is one of the MYTO variables 2.50 dollars per MMBTU and its transportation, is 0.08 dollars per MMBTU.
Momoh, however, explained that the first minor review of the MYTO was done in June 2019, and that “the review we are trying to do in January is subject to public consultation and in the next three months, the entire commissioners and myself will be running from place to place to inform Nigerians for consultation.
“We have done our review and we have given a report card of what we saw on all the indices of doing a review. We have not said it is binding tomorrow morning, so we have to do the next thing which is consultation.
“The order is simply an indication of what we have done as a regulator on what it takes to increase or decrease tariff, if at the end of our meeting back and forth, we said no increase and if there is increase it will be based on engagement at the public forum,’’ he said.
In another development, Momoh said that NERC in collaboration with Howard University, with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S would be organising an international conference on Power System Operations and Planning (ICESOP) 2020. He said that the conference which is scheduled to hold from Jan. 20 to Jan. 23 has as its theme: “Empowering Micro Grid with Smart Grid Attribute to Development’’.
“The conference, a bi-annual event that was first held in 1992 in Nigeria, would focus on challenges in the power sector across the world.