The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has said electricity tariffs were not increased. Still, preferably adjustment was made on some bands, which will make consumers pay what they are supposed to pay.
The minister was reacting to a report that noted that regulators again increased electricity tariffs. He stated this while featuring on Channels Television’s Politics Today program, Tuesday night.
According to the minister, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission failed to consult him or other committee members working on the new electricity tariffs regime before announcing.
While giving reasons for the increased tariff, the commission responded that it considered the 14.9 percent inflation rate rise in November 2020 and foreign exchange of N379.4/$1 as of 29th December 2020.
In his response to whether the government approved electricity distribution companies to increase tariffs following the NERC directive, the minister responded that he is yet to conclude being tasked with choosing a cost-reflective tariff for consumers. In his words:
“I am the chairman of the sub-committee consisting of the Federal Government side and Labour side that has been mandated to go round the country to interact and consult with stakeholders and the discos to find an acceptable and cost-reflective tariff that should be paid by Nigerians. We are still in the process of carrying out our assignment; we have not finished it.
“There has been no increase in tariff. What we agreed to do was to freeze certain bands. You know we have band A, B, C, D and so on. So, in the interim, what we did was adjust certain bands and ensure that certain persons who are supposed to be on some bars are not wrongly put on some other bands.
“What has just been done is adjustment of certain bands, but there has not been any increase in tariffs.”
Keyamo added that since the consultation was not made, a meeting has been slated for Thursday, 7th January 2021, to show the right position of things.
“We immediately called for a meeting on this issue, and what NERC has released does not reflect what we agreed upon at the level of the committee. I can say I was not consulted, and the committee members also said they were not consulted.
“We are trying to fix a meeting for Thursday to find out exactly what happened and take it from there but, I can assure (Nigerians) that we will soon come out with a statement before Nigerians to show the true position of things.”