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FG, Labour agree cut in electricity tariff for 3 months, to distribute 6 million free meters

The Federal Government and the organized labour have agreed to provide a tariff relief of N10.20 per kilowatt-hour for Nigerians for the next 3 months and also distribute 6 million free meters following the completion of the 2 weeks suspension of electricity tariff.

According to a tweet post from the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, this was disclosed in a communique made available to journalists after a lengthy meeting between the organized Labour and the Federal Government on Sunday evening.

The communique disclosed that the committee adopted a two-phase approach to proffer solutions which would help resolve issues affecting the electricity sector in the medium term, whilst providing relief to customers immediately.

They stated that the immediate relief would be provided to citizens for a 2 to 3-month period (which will not exceed December 31, 2020), saying it will be the timeline for the conclusion of an extended scope of work for the Technical Committee.

According to the communique: “Following extensive analyses, it was realised that VAT proceeds from the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) could be used to secure varying levels of relief in customer tariffs across bands A, B and C, ensuring that all customers receive some form of relief during this difficult time. Cumulatively the per kWh relief that will be provided to customers in bands A, B and C is N10.20 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which will be distributed across the bands. The relief will be in place for the 2 to the 3-month period required for the Technical Committee to conclude its extended scope of work. It should be noted that Bands D and E tariffs were not changed, and this freeze will remain in place.

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It was also disclosed that the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) will be accelerated. They stated: “This programme will distribute 6 million meters to Nigerians free, of charge. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) having approved the funding for this programme, the meters will begin being distributed to consumers immediately using stockpiles in-country and local assemblers. The cost of meters shall be recovered from the DISCOs.

The 6 million meters to be procured for the NMMP will only be through local meter manufacturers and assemblers. This will create jobs and a new meter manufacturing sub-sector in the country.”

It was also resolved that there will be proper salary protection for electricity workers. They disclosed that In implementing payment discipline measures for the DISCOs, the Government will ensure the protection of the salary for Electricity Workers saying it will be protected in the revised payment waterfall structure for the NESI. Thus; “In order to protect customers from changes in tariff during the 2-3 month period of review by the Joint Technical Committee, DISCOs will be directed to temporarily suspend customer band migration. This means that while DISCOs are expected to fulfil their Performance Improvement Plans (PIP) thereby improving the quality of service to customers, no added charges will be passed on to customers during this period. This measure is aimed at building confidence in the Service-Based Tariff structure.’

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On the inclusion of Labour representatives in NERC, it stated, “The committee had no objection to the inclusion of Labour into the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission. Government is committed to fully engage Labour in the ongoing review of the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) 2002. As a result, the Executive will recommend to the National Assembly inclusion of Labour representation into the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.”

To further assure Nigerians of the new agreement, the Honourable Minister of Power, Sale Mamman took to his official Twitter handle to state that Nigerians will only pay for the energy they consume and also a plan to distribute 6million meters to homes and businesses were underway.

“To ensure that Nigerians only pay for the energy they consume, a Metering scheme that will see 6 million free meters distributed to Nigerian homes and businesses is set to commence this quarter,” Mamman tweeted.

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