FG clears air on increase in electricity tariffs

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Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, has insisted the Federal Government has not increased electricity tariffs.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Tuesday, Keyamo insisted the Federal Government only adjusted some bands for consumers to pay the exact fee they are supposed to pay.

He said the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, did not consult him or any other committee members working on the new electricity tariffs regime before making the announcement it made earlier in the day.

NERC said it considered the increase due to the 14.9 percent inflation rise in November 2020 and the foreign exchange rate of N379.4/$1 as of December 29, 2020.

When asked if the government approved the increase of the tariffs by electricity distribution companies, Keyamo said, “I am the chairman of the sub-committee consisting of the Federal Government side and Labour side that has been mandated to go round the country to interact and consult with stakeholders and the discos to find an acceptable and cost-reflective tariff that should be paid by Nigerians. We are still in the process of carrying out our assignment, and we have not finished it.

“There has been no increase in tariff. What we agreed to do was to freeze certain bands. You know we have band A, B, C, D and so on and so forth. So, in the interim, what we did was to adjust certain bands and to ensure that certain persons who are supposed to be on some bands are not wrongly put on some other bands.

“What has just been done is an adjustment of certain bands, but there has not been any increase in tariffs.”

The minister added, “We immediately called for a meeting on this issue, and what NERC has released does not reflect what we agreed upon at the level of the committee. I can say I was not consulted, and members of the committee also said they were not consulted.

“We are trying to fix a meeting for Thursday to find out exactly what happened and take it from there, but I can assure (Nigerians) that we will soon come out with a statement before Nigerians to show the true position of things.”

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