Electricity distribution companies in the country have denied reports about plans to increase electricity tariffs beginning from January 1 2024.
The denial follows some earlier reports which claimed the distribution companies (DISCOs) had concluded plans to hike electricity tariffs beginning from the first day of 2024.
However, officials of some DISCOs who were contacted, as well as the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), have denied such plans.
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The DISCOs revealed that they are yet to receive any such directive.
According to Punch, the Head, Corporate Communications, Jos Electricity Distribution Company, Adekole Elijah, when asked about the rumours, said: “We have not received any directive or order on that. I have also heard about the rumour, but it has not been confirmed. So at this moment, I am not aware of any such moves to hike electricity tariffs.”
According to him, “I also read the claim in one of the dailies that there may be a tariff increase starting from tomorrow, but I’ve not received any correspondence to that effect. If there is a directive we cannot do it secretly, for once there is an increase everybody will know.
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“So right now it is still a rumour, no order from the government or NERC directing us to commence or effect any tariff hike. At least till this minute that I’m speaking with you there’s no such directive.”
Also, the Head, Communications, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, Emeka Ezeh, stated that no increase in tariff can occur except approved by NERC, and no such approval has been received.
He said, “There is no directive from NERC on that. Before such a thing would happen there has to be a directive from NERC, which is normally issued as a regulatory order in that regard.
“But as we speak, I’ve not seen any order or received any directive on tariff hike. That is the position. And even if a Disco is contemplating a hike in tariff, if NERC does not approve, it doesn’t happen.
“Also, before it is implemented, there has to be an approval issued by NERC giving that directive. So that is the position. As we speak there is no order from NERC and as a result there is no hike in tariff.”
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Ezeh added that, “Even if we Discos wish to increase the tariff from here to wherever, as long as there is no order from NERC to that effect, it won’t happen. So that is the truth of the matter. Until an order is issued by NERC, what you heard is still just a rumour.”
An official of NERC who spoke in reaction to the reports of a planned electricity tariff hike also said the commission had not issued any order on tariff hike, but hinted that minor reviews of tariff were usually held every six months.
“I cannot confirm that story as true,” the official, who pleaded not to be named due to lack of authorisation, stated.