Electricity tariff hike looms as Discos apply for rate review

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Eleven successor electricity companies have applied for a review of their respective electricity tariffs, the Federal Government has disclosed. Disclosing this through a notice published by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Friday, the Federal Government said the request for rate review is premised on the need to incorporate changes in macroeconomic parameters and other factors affecting the quality of service, operations and sustainability of the companies.

In the notice, NERC stated that Discos request for rate review is in pursuant to Section 116 (1) and 2(a&b) of the Electricity Act 2023 and other extant rules. A recent attempt by some electricity distribution companies to hike tariff from July 1 had caused uproar and met strong resistance from Nigerians.

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) had asked the government to shelve plans aimed at increasing electricity tariffs in the country, saying it was insensitive and callous to effect hike in power tariff when consumers are still grappling with the hardship caused by the removal of petrol subsidy. It appeared the public outcry worked as it was observed that the Discos shelved the planned tariff increase on July 1.

However, the increase may still happen with the Thursday notice by NERC that the Discos have now applied for rate review. The regulatory body also stated that it will conduct a Rate Case Hearing on the applications prior to making a ruling as part of the rule-making process and in the exercise of the powers conferred by the Electricity Act.

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