DisCos can’t hike tariffs without approval, says NERC

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The National Electricity Regulatory Commission has stated that electricity distribution companies require its approval before increasing tariffs.

The spokesperson of the NERC, Usman Abba Arabi, made this disclosure in a chat with The PUNCH correspondent on Tuesday.

There have been media reports that Discos had concluded plans to hike electricity tariffs in the New Year.

Earlier, the NERC spokesperson had noted that the commission had not approved any new electricity tariffs for any of the Discos within the Nigerian electricity supply industry.

“No new electricity tariff has been approved. Nigerians should ignore any news reports about new electricity tariff coming up on the 1st January 2024,” he remarked.

Despite NERC’s clarification that there was no plan to hike tariffs, Nigerians on social media expressed scepticism, saying the Discos might not wait for the commission before rolling out the new tariffs.

Some Nigerians said they had noticed an increase in the amount they pay for electricity lately.

A Facebook user, Inusa Mani, said, “People buying electric units in Kaduna are already purchasing at new rates,” saying “It is either NERC is not on top of things, or they are paying lip service to Nigerians.”

An Ibadan resident with the Facebook name Vito Jean claimed the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company “has been giving my apartment N15k-N30k per month, a house with one TV, six bulbs, two phones and one laptop”.

Also, Segun Alex said, “There is always no directive (from NERC) before indiscriminately increasing tariffs.”

Asked to react to the fears of Nigerians that the Discos might have carried out the tariff increase without NERC approval, Arabi replied: “DisCos are not allowed to charge any electricity tariff without the approval of NERC.”

Source: The Punch

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