OYOGist.com has learnes that the federal government on Thursday, October 29, reportedly said that as from next week the collection of Service-Based electricity Tariffs (SBT) will resume.
This development was confirmed by Ahmad Zakari, the special adviser on infrastructure to President Muhammadu Buhari,during the 51st virtual Power Dialogue in Abuja, organised by Nigeria Electricity Hub.
Back in September, the federal govt suspended the new electricity tariff following a massive outage capped by the partially aborted nationwide protest of the organised labours.
The suspension of the controversial new tariff took effect in line with the agreement reached by the federal govt, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), and Trade Union Congress(TUC).
According to Ahmad, the implementation will begin next week since labour has accepted the new terms. He went on to note that the electricity market in the country will collapse if the govt allows it to continue the way it has always been run.
The presidential aide added that the government’s intention is to transit to a market-based regime, where the demand and supply will determine prices.
Ahmad also stated that since the government is now closely monitoring the collection of electricity revenues by the Distribution Companies (Discos) there will be more transparency.
Earlier, the federal government extended the suspension of the implementation of electricity tariff hike by another week.
This latest move by the Nigerian govt was announced on Monday, October 12, by the chairperson of the Nigeria ElectricityRegulatory Commission (NERC), James Jimoh.
Jimoh revealed this when the adhoc technical committee on electricity tariff submitted its interim report during a fresh meeting between the Govt and labour unions in Abuja on Monday.
According to the him, the period will afford the committee time to deliberate on the justification of the upward review of the tariff.
The NERC boss noted that the committee, chaired by the minister of state for labour, Festus Keyamo, within this time will also work on modalities for the implementation of the agreement reached on the electricity tariffs structure.
On his part, the minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige,said that adoption of the blueprint for implementing the resolutions has been reached.
Meanwhile, the NERC said it was committed to ensuring that ”poor and vulnerable ” Nigerians do not experience any undue increase in electricity tariff.
The commission’s chairman, Jimoh, made this known in a statement released on Wednesday, August 26.
Jimoh said electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) can only increase prices only after customers had been consulted and metered.
The NERC boss said the DISCOs must also commit to increasing the number of hours of electricity supply per day.
” This means that unmetered customers will not experience any cost increase beyond what is chargeable to metered customers in the same area.”