Consumer Group To Sue Nigeria’s Regulator Over Electricity Tariff Increment

The All Electricity Protection Forum (AEPF) says it will drag the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to court if it fails to reverse the increase in electricity tariffs.

The Consumer group on Wednesday through its Public Relations Officer (PRO), Gideon Balogun, on Wednesday in Lagos, decried the increment of the tariff as announced by the electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) on September 1.

Balogun, in a statement, said the increment was unjustified because the DisCos had not met the conditions of Section 76 (2) (b) of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, (EPSRA) 2005.

In his words, the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) stipulates that increment can only be done every five years with the last approved increment occurring on February 3, 2016.

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Balogun adds that stakeholders did not accede to the increment at several meetings with the DisCos, but had insisted on improved supply before any increase in tariffs.

“We, therefore, demand immediate reversal of the tariff increment and full implementation of capping method order 197/2020 which will, as one of its objectives, fast track the metering of consumers by the DisCos.”

“We also demand that NERC should show reasons why consumers should believe they are protected, and that all their actions are in tandem with Section 32 of EPSRA, 2005.”

“This section emphasises fairness to all stakeholders in the sector which include consumers.”

“Failure to accede to the above demands will leave us with no other option than to lead other Nigerians to resist this through peaceful protest and challenge the illegality inherent in a court of competent jurisdiction,” he concluded

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The DisCos had announced that they had started implementing new Service Reflective Tariff Plan (SRT) across their franchise areas from September 1.

They said the new tariff is to ensure that prices charged is fair to customers and allow for the full recovery of efficient cost of operations and a reasonable rate of return on capital invested.

The DisCos said it is to provide a path for transitioning to full service-based cost-reflective tariffs by July 2021 and to reclassify and disaggregate customers on the basis of agreed commitments on quality of service to customers.

They said it will also enable the development and implementation of a framework for enforcing market discipline in respect of market remittances and managing future revenue shortfalls in the Industry.

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However, customers who enjoy less than 12 hours of supply will not be affected by the new tariff plan.

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