By Oluwakemi Ishola
The discussions between the Federal Government and organised labour over the recent electricity tariff increase seems to be yielding a positive result.
This comes after the Federal Government on Sunday, October 12, 2020, agreed to provide a tariff relief of 10 naira 20 kobo per kilowatt of electricity for Nigerians for the next three months and also massively distribute free meters to electricity consumers.
Festus Keyamo, the minister of state for Labour and Employment, announced this in a communique posted on his twitter handle, following the expiration of the 2-week suspension of the increased electricity tariff yesterday.
He said the Federal Government will use VAT proceeds to temporarily subsidize tariffs while the Adhoc committee will work for two more months to resolve other issues regarding tariff adjustments.
According to the Minister, “other immediate reliefs include the provision of six million free meters to Nigerians, salary protection for electricity workers, a mandatory refund for any overbilling during system transition by the discos, monthly publication by NERC of allowed billing of unmetered customers, etc.”
Mr. Keyamo added that the Adhoc committee set up by the Federal Government and organised labour last month agreed to adopt a two-phase approach to proffer solutions to resolve issues in the sector on a medium-term basis.
Labour had suspended its planned industrial action after the Federal Government suspended the tariff increase pending the outcome of their negotiation.
The Federal Government, through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), in January approved the immediate review of electricity tariffs across the country.
A review of the new amount to be paid by various categories of electricity consumers indicates an increase that ranges from 59.7 per cent to 77.6 per cent.
Consumers classified as residential (R1) were, however, excluded from the review as the N4 per kWh they pay was left unchanged.
The development affected the 11 Distribution Companies (DISCOs) spread across the country such as Abuja DISCO, Benin DISCO, Enugu DISCO, and Eko DISCO.
Others are Ibadan DISCO, Ikeja DISCO, Jos DISCO, Kaduna DISCO, Kano DISCO, Port Harcourt DISCO, and Yola DISCO.
According to the latest order, the new amount to pay varies among categories of electricity consumers such as residential, commercial, industrial, special, and lighting.
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