Nigerians can now heave a sigh of relief following the latest cancellation of arbitrary billing of electricity by operators in the industry.
A Lagos resident and trader Mr John Martins commended the measure as a welcome development that will reduce hardship occasioned by the irregularities in the sector.
He said ‘the nationwide mass metering will improve economic activities and reduce generator use generally.’
According to another respondent, Mrs Grace Effiong, a teacher, this action will definitely ease the high cost of business transaction in the country.
‘The reckless billing of unmetered customers is a nationwide problem. I hope the new policy will be implemented speedily as promised,’ she added.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on, Wednesday, directed that there should be a nationwide mass-metering program in an effort by the Federal Government to put a stop to estimated and arbitrary billing for electricity.
He also approved a waiver of the import levy on meters, so that those that do not have meters can be supplied, as early as possible at reasonable costs.
Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission(NERC), James Momoh, in a statement, said dismissed media reports of increase in tariff.
‘The general public and all stakeholders in the power sector are by this statement urged to disregard any reports of an arbitrary tariff increase affecting Nigerians.
According to him tariff reviews going forward will only follow service-based principles.
‘Under these service-based principles DISCOs will only be able to review tariff rates for customers when they consult with customers, commit to increasing the number of hours of supply per day and quality of service.’
‘In all cases poor and vulnerable Nigerians will not experience any increase. In line with these expectations, DISCOs are directed to engage with their customers on a Service Based Tariff structure. Under the Service Based Tariff Structure, DISCOs can only review tariffs for customers under conditions, that customers are consulted and communicated about guaranteed level of electricity service by the DISCOs based on hours of supply.’
Additionally, the operator will ensure that ‘customers are metered. No estimated billing through the strict enforcement of the capping regulation. This means that unmetered customers will not experience any cost increase beyond what is chargeable to metered customers in the same area.’
‘Even under the above conditions, there will be no change in tariff for the most vulnerable as tariffs for those consuming 50KW or less remain frozen. Customers receiving less than 12 hours of supply will also not experience any change in tariffs.’