BusinessDay

Why we increased electricity tariff despite power shortage – NERC

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission(NERC) has confirmed the increase made to electricity tariff payable by consumers, stating that it was in line with its mandate to adjust rates to take care of the foreign exchange component of cost and inflation.

This is as citizens continue to battle the electricity crisis across the country.

The Chairman of NERC, Sanusi Garba, who disclosed this in Abuja said that the adjustment was made in February following some economic fundamentals considered by the commission.

“What happened on February 1, 2022, is a minor review of tariff. It is very clear on our website that every six months we will adjust rates to take care of the foreign exchange component of cost and also inflation.

“This is absolutely a straight forward thing but even at that we do publish in newspapers that NERC is about to embark on a minor review to adjust some parameters and when the computation is done it goes into rates which we put on our website and the distribution companies have a responsibility to put it out to consumers,” he said.

Garba stressed that the role of the commission is to make a determination of the rates that consumers should pay, while creating a balance between consumers and investors.

Read also: National grid collapse: Buhari apologizes, says FG processing $50m gas supply agreement

Commenting on the poor state of power supply, Garba, said that the concerted efforts at resolving challenges in the electric power supply chain will bring back supply to the threshold of over 4,000MW soon.

He attributed the challenges in the value chain to three significant events as the scheduled maintenance of the Shell Afam 6, vandalism on the gas pipeline to Okpai Power Plant, and pigging of the pipeline supplying gas to Calabar Power Plant.

“The combined effect of these three incidents happening when the hydro stations are operating below optimal level due to low water levels accounted for a reduction in the supply of over 1,000megawatts to the national grid.

“However, efforts at restoring the lost capacities and the possibility of signing the contract by Okpai 2 Power Plant, a newly constructed power plant with direct access to gas supply, will restore available capacity to over 4,000megawatts soon, ” he said.

However, the Minister of power, Abubakar Aliyu, attributed the power outages to shortage of gas supply to the National grid as occasioned by the increasing vandalization of pipelines across the country.

According to him, the government is collaborating with the relevant security agencies to stop the vandalization of pipelines and ensure routine maintenance of power generating plants which also contributed to the current power outages being experienced.

“We are where we are today because of the increasing vandalization of pipelines that also supply gas to the power plants. This too is being resolved in collaboration with the relevant agencies. NNPC and other gas suppliers are working relentlessly to restore gas supply for optimum power supply.

“These challenges do not in any way indicate that the ongoing rehabilitation of the national grid by the government is not yielding results.

“Despite all the challenges, we are recording successes and the grid is being restored back to full operation. Government solicits the support of all Nigerians at this time, while efforts will continue to increase and stabilize electricity supply across Nigeria,” he said.

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