FG extends new electricity tariffs for a week

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The Federal Government has extended the two-week suspension for electricity tariffs by another one week.

The government had earlier on 28th September 2020 postponed the take-off date of the new electricity tariffs by two weeks after it held a meeting with the organised labour, which was opposed to the hikes in petroleum and electricity prices.

The one week extension was disclosed at the weekend during a meeting held at the Presidential Villa banquet hall, Abuja between the FG team led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress.

Reading the communique, the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, said, “The two-week extension for electricity tariffs which expired this week will be extended by another one week.”

The parties agreed to reduce the tariffs by 10 percent for band A, 10.5 percent for band B and 31 per cent for band C.

“The immediate relief would be provided to citizens for a 2 to 3-month period (not later than 31st of December, 2020), being the timeline for the conclusion of an extended scope of work for the Technical Committee,” it noted.

The parley adopted the resolutions of the ad hoc technical committee on the electricity tariffs hike reached on October 8 and also agreed on a work plan for the implementation.

The parley also agreed to distribute one million meters to bridge the metering gap in the country in the first instance. The distribution is expected to commence this week in furtherance of the Acceleration of National Mass Metering Programme.

The programme is expected to distribute a total of 6 million meters to Nigerians free of charge based on the funding by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The cost of the meters will be recovered from the electricity distribution companies and the meters should be procured through local meter manufacturers and assemblers.

They also agreed to use the Value Added Tax proceeds from the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry to secure varying levels of relief in customer tariffs across bands A, B, and C, ensuring that all customers receive some form of relief.

Ngige said the approximately N1.7 billion per day subsidy that was being spent on the NESI prior to the September 1st tariff transition would be inserted into the national budget.

In implementing payment discipline measures for the DISCOs, the government agreed to ensure that the salary for electricity workers shall be protected in the revised payment waterfall structure for the NESI.

The meeting tasked the NERC to ensure that the personnel costs of electricity workers should be placed on the first-line charge on the primary collection account.

The process is expected to commence from October 12. The ad hoc committee was directed to work from October 12 to ensure that all outstanding issues are implemented.

The meeting was adjourned till October 25.

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