COVID-19: FG backs 3-month delay in implementation of tariff increase

THE Federal Government (FG) on Monday, backed the 3-month delay in the implementation of the tariff increase plans in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), Tribune Online reports.

It said the development is in line with several critical actions taken to ease the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on the average Nigerians.

In a statement signed by the Minister of Power, Engr. Saleh Mamman, it stated that the, “delay in the implementation of tariff measures is consistent with the President’s announcement on March 29th granting a moratorium for certain Federal Government-funded facilities to the Nigerian Public.

While commending the commitments of key players in the NESI to ensuring stable power supply during the stay-at-home period, he urged DisCos to ensure a stable supply.

“We must work together. I must specifically commend the Distribution Companies that have a direct interface with the citizens. Many of the companies have announced that they will take measures to maintain the power supply to citizens in this difficult time. I would like to implore that the DISCOs uphold these commitments,” the statement read in part.

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Also, it disclosed an ongoing engagement with key players involved to ensure a sustainable power supply.

While also commending measures taken by NERC to transition to a “service reflective” tariff system it said: “We agree with NERC that this approach is more equitable and will encourage investment in the sector. This will also transition the NESI to a contract-based market with appropriate regulatory oversight as envisaged by the EPSRA (Electric Power Sector Reform Act).

“The Ministry also has a number of initiatives to support electricity access to the rural and underserved communities through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) focusing on Solar Home Systems and Solar Mini-Grids.”

Meanwhile, the FG said it is working with the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN to ensure payments to electricity generators and gas suppliers through the Payment Assurance Facility (PAF).

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