Saleh Mamman, minister of power, has directed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to halt the implementation of the reviewed tariff.
On Tuesday, the commission approved an increase in electricity tariff across the country.
In a statement on Thursday, the minister said the tariff review will be on hold until the conclusion of the joint ad hoc committee’s work at the end of January.
Mamman said the government initially subsidised the tariff of all categories of electricity consumers to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on citizens.
“Partial subsidies were also applied for bands A, B and C in October 2020. These measures are all aimed at cushioning the effects of the pandemic while providing more targeted interventions for citizens.
“The public is aware that FGN and the Labour Centers have been engaged in positive discussions about the electricity sector through a joint ad-hoc Committee led by the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity and Co-Chaired by the Minister of State for Power
“It should be clear to all that the regulator must be allowed to perform its function without undue interference. The role of the Government is not to set tariffs, it is to provide policy guidance and an enabling environment for the regulator to protect consumers and for investors to engage directly with consumers. Bi-Annual Minor reviews to adjust factors such as inflation are part of the process for a sustainable and investable NESI.
“To promote a constructive conclusion of the dialogue with the Labour Centers (through the Joint Ad-Hoc Committee), I have directed NERC to forestall the implementation of the duly performed minor review (which adjusted tariffs between N2 per kWh and N4 per kWh) until the conclusion of the Joint Ad Hoc Committee’s work at the end of January 2021. This will allow for the outcome of all resolutions from the Committee to be implemented together.”
The minister said the Buhari administration is committed to creating a sustainable, growing and rule-based electricity market for the benefit of all Nigerians.