By Oscarline Onwuemenyi
ABUJA — The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has announced impending review of the newly deployed Multi-Year Tariff Order, MYTO.
It said this was necessary following a series of complaints from electricity consumers, especially Small and Medium Enterprises, about high fixed fee they must pay every month irrespective of the power situation within any particular month.
Executive Commissioner, Government and Consumer Affairs at the NERC, Dr. Abba Ibrahim, confirmed this to newsmen on the sideline of Power Consumers Assembly in Dutse, Jigawa State by the commission.
Abba said having received the complaints, the commission had put a process in motion to resolve the complaints of the SMEs, adding that the new tariff regime provided for review mechanism in case of such complaints.
He said: “There have been quite a number of complaints that have been raised. MYTO in itself has a mechanism for review. It is a multi year tariff order that has safety guards within it. Wherever there are issues raised by customers or even a service provider, the commission has the responsibility to sit down, listen and review where necessary.
“MYTO already has a six-month window for regular reviews. Also within it, if there are complaints regarding the implementation of the tariff order and the complaints were brought in within sixty days of its deployment, then the commission is also obliged to sit.
“We have had complaints from commercial operators, specifically, Small and Medium Enterprises, complaining about high fixed charges, equivalent to industrial categories. It is a complaint that was laid and met these criteria for review within 60 days of the MYTO order. We are now in the fifth month of the implementation of the tariff.
“These complaints were made within the 60 days of implementation and we have sat down with all the stakeholders. My chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi, is meeting with the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises on this particular issue as we speak. We have consulted the distribution companies. We have met severally and we are in the process of addressing this particular issue.
“So it is a review that is already being taken care of. It is unfortunate that some particular group has suffered this long but I can assure you we are putting all efforts to ensure that this is redressed.”
DISCOs must provide meters to all customers
He also insisted that the distribution companies across the country must provide meters to all customers in the next 13 months as ordered by the regulatory agency in June.
Abba said: “We are insisting on that. It is an order of the commission. It has not been withdrawn. An order is an order. We are operating a rule-based sector now. We believe that with the coming in of private operators, they will even be more aggressive in terms of revenue drive.
“One of the success stories is what has happened in Dutse. Our team had monitored the metering in Dutse and they report that over 60 per cent of the areas they had covered have prepaid meters already installed. They were also installed free of charge as ordered by the commission since June 1 and this is what we expect throughout the whole country.”