The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) are preparing for a fresh public hearing on the review of electricity tariffs. However, consumers and other stakeholders have expressed their opposition to the proposed tariff hike, arguing that it would further impoverish Nigerians who are already facing challenging economic conditions.
The public hearing, scheduled for July 20, 2023, aims to gather responses from various stakeholders, including consumers, analysts, investors, planners, and human rights activists. The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) has not provided comments on the matter, while the Network of Electricity Consumers Advocacy of Nigeria (NECAN) stated that it does not explicitly advocate for an electricity tariff increase. NECAN acknowledged that the cost elements affecting tariffs have significantly increased, such as foreign exchange rates, inflation rates, and the prices of gas and other commodities, which have made it difficult for operators to bear the costs.
NERC has completed its review of the proposal by the DisCos, supporting the need for a tariff review. Many stakeholders, including households and manufacturers, are planning to participate in the public hearing and make presentations.
However, some stakeholders, such as the National President of the Oil and Gas Service Providers Association, oppose the proposed tariff increase. They argue that despite previous tariff reviews, the power sector has not been able to generate and distribute adequate and stable electricity to consumers. They emphasize the need for increased investment to improve power supply, as well as ensuring that every consumer has a prepaid meter to prevent exploitation through estimation.
In a notice, NERC disclosed that 11 DisCos have filed an application for a tariff rate review and invited the general public to comment on the applications. Interested stakeholders can access the applications on the NERC website. The commission will conduct a rate case hearing before making a ruling, and stakeholders have until July 20, 2023, to submit their comments or participate in the proceedings as intervenors.
The public hearing and subsequent discussions will shape the decision on electricity tariffs and how they will impact consumers in Nigeria.