The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Agency (NERC), acting on behalf of the Federal Government, has categorically stated that no official order has been issued to electricity distribution companies (DisCos) regarding an alleged electricity tariff hike commencing January 1, 2024.
Dr. Usman Abba, the spokesperson for NERC, clarified this position in response to inquiries from DAILY POST on Sunday. This clarification follows reports of a planned electricity tariff increase at the beginning of the new year.
NERC, the regulatory body overseeing the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), emphasized that there is no directive in place for an electricity tariff increment on January 1, 2024.
Abba explained, “NERC has not issued any order to DisCos concerning tariff hike; we usually have meetings with all stakeholders before any proposed increase, but we’ve not had any meeting with any DisCos concerning price increase.”
Earlier, Kunle Olubiyo, the President of the Nigerian Consumer Protection Network, criticized any potential government-driven electricity tariff hike as irresponsible. He pointed out that Nigerians are already grappling with the consequences of fuel subsidy removal, rising inflation, and other economic reforms initiated by the Tinubu administration.
“It is outright irresponsible for the government to allow an electricity tariff hike,” Olubiyo emphasized.
In November 2023, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu halted the implementation of the new electricity tariff, advocating for a power sector subsidy. Minister of Power Adebayo Adelabu, commenting on Tinubu’s directive, noted, “The power sector is an industry that is very sensitive to any leader. You cannot jump overnight and implement the cost-reflective tariff. I can tell you that till today, the government still subsidizes power.”
NERC’s quarterly reports revealed that electricity subsidies amounted to N204.59 billion in the third quarter of 2023 and N135.23 billion in Q2, significantly higher than the N36.02 billion in Q1 2023.