The fate of the proposed electricity tariff review will be determined today after a meeting between senior members of government led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and lawmakers after which the president will be briefed, BusinessDay has learnt.
Contrary to speculation that the tariff review has been shifted to the first quarter of next year, the directive from the president was only a stay of action to pursue further engagement with the lawmakers to properly articulate the fiscal implication of further delay, a senior government official with knowledge of the discussion told BusinessDay.
Today’s meeting will have in attendance Ahmad Lawan, Senate president, Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker, House of Representatives, the minister of finance Zainab Ahmed, minister of power, Sale Mamman, Godwin Emiefele, CBN governor, and the director-general of the Budget Office as well as other senior government officials.
BusinessDay gathers that senior government officials have resolved that there will be need for more engagements to persuade the leadership of the Legislature that there is no better time than now to take the government away from holding down power sector tariff.
The outcome of the meeting will determine whether the tariff increase will go ahead or not, as the president is yet to make a final decision on the plan. The thinking in government is that the fiscal situation of the country is unable to continue to support subsidies on electricity.
Last week, the Board of the World Bank approved Nigeria’s long-standing request for about a billion dollars, releasing the first tranche of $750 million credit to support power sector recovery, and one of the conditions Nigeria agreed on was that it would review tariffs and end subsidies, which have gulped over N1.72 trillion within the last five years.
There are concerns that if the government fails to honour this commitment, it may make it harder for it to succeed in further efforts to secure financing from multilateral institutions.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has given Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) till today to provide the information requested in the template that provides clarity on the names of locations and distribution transformers covered by all feeders in their respective coverage areas.
In a letter dated June 30, issued to managing directors of the DisCos, NERC said it was yet to finalise the review and approval of DisCos application for extraordinary tariff review and the issuance of a new tariff order that include the impact of the parameters considered during the biannual minor review exercises.
The information was required to complete the new service-reflective tariff order.
“To this end, all the eleven distribution licensees are further requested to submit the executed Service Level Agreements with the Transmission Company of Nigeria plc on or before the close of business on July 2, 2020,” the regulator said.
Source: Business Day