By Seun Adeuyi
Again, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has increased the electricity tariff payable by power consumers across the country.
This was approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), as the hike which varies based on different consumer classes took effect from January 1, 2021.
According to ThePunch, the NERC announced the tariff hike in its December 2020 minor review of the Multi-Year Tariff Order and Minimum Remittance Order.
This is taking effect just two months after the government through NERC implemented a hike in November 2020.
The MYTO order containing the latest tariff hike, Order NERC/225/2020, was signed by the new Chairman of NERC, Sanusi Garba, and it supersedes the previous Order NERC/2028/2020.
The commission, while providing reasons for the latest tariff hike, said it considered the 14.9 per cent inflation rate rise in November 2020 and foreign exchange of N379.4/$1 as of December 29, 2020.
It also stated that the new tariff would be effective till June 2021 while a Cost Reflective Tariff would be activated from June to December 2021.
Last month, the commission had stated that it was carrying out a review for another tariff, hence the latest order announcing an increase in the rates payable by consumers.
In September last year, the commission raised electricity tariff but this was faced with stiff opposition by the organised labour.
After a series of negotiations that tariff was reduced based on consumer classes and the hours of power supply received by an electricity user.
ThePunch had quoted the Nigeria Labour Congress as saying that the Government would not revert to the September 1, 2020 service reflective tariff that led to a widespread outcry across the country.
NLC Deputy President, who doubles as General Secretary, National Union of Electricity Employees, Joe Ajaero, had stated that the September 1, 2020 hike in tariff had been reviewed downwards in most categories.
But the government has again increased the tariff, two months after implementing the revised tariff that saw various levels of increase in rates.