The distribution companies on Tuesday clarified that the suspension of the proposed service reflective tariff initiated by the National Assembly on Monday was due to their concerns on its timing and what they saw as lapses in the internal workability of the plan within the sector.
The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), made this clarification in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Sunday Oduntan in response to a news story published by a national daily that wrongly claimed the DisCos lobbied for the postponement.
“I am sure that right now, several attempts at justifying this conspiracy theory are being cooked up but what the journalist that wrote the story is actually insinuating is that the leadership of the National Assembly can easily be manipulated by anyone or group of people.
“The members of the National Assembly are representatives of the people. Based on the feedback they have been getting from their constituents mainly around the difficult financial realities, they called for a meeting which we attended and during the meeting, they laid out their concerns,” Oduntan said.
“DisCos have spent the last couple of weeks carrying out massive sensitizations across different platforms preparing their customers for the new service reflective tariff as instructed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). DisCos have also been at the forefront of the call for a reviewed tariff for years.
“Over the weekend, we had to publicly voice out concerns about an instruction from our regulator which we felt will make our task of winning public confidence more difficult because we have committed ourselves to removing obstacles that will stand against the success of the take-off date. It is therefore extremely disingenuous for someone to come and suggest that on the eve of this coming to fruition, we will now be the ones to initiate its postponement,” he added.
July 1, 2020 had been pegged as the commencement date for a new service delivery based tariff regime. Based on the recommendation of the NASS leadership, the new regime should take effect from the first quarter of 2021.