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NERC and Agence Francaise Development To Collaborate On Human Capacity

17.01.14 -27

 

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has been assured of financial support for human capacity development for the power sector. Chief of Projects, Division of Education, Agence Francaise Development (AFD) Betrand Facini and the Senior Program Officer of the French agency, Adesoji Ademola expressed their readiness to support in a meeting with NERC’s Commissioners.

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NERC Holds A 3 Day Sensitization on Health and Safety in work places - urges conscious application

10.12.13 - 26

The Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Dr. Sam Amadi, has urged for safety consciousness in the work place. He made the call during the opening of a three-day sensitization workshop on Health and Safety. The workshop was organized in collaboration with the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

He said that conscious attitudes should be imbibed by everyone. ‘’ I want to urge everybody to be extra-conscious, we are organizing this workshop in order to create consciousness in its entirety’’ Amadi said.

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NERC CREATES AWARENESS IN HISTORIC TOWNS OF NIGER STATE

Press Release   11.11.13 -25

NERC CREATES AWARENESS IN HISTORIC TOWNS OF NIGER STATE 

Staff of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) led by the Commissioner, Government and Consumer Affairs division, Dr Abba Ibrahim  went on a three- day tour of Niger state, visiting Kuta in Shiroro local government, Kontagora and the historic town of Bida from Tuesday 6 to Thursday 7 November, 2013.

This is in line with NERC’s policy on consumer enlightenment and education, geared at sensitizing the people on their rights and obligations as electricity consumers. It is also an avenue to inform the people about the different redress mechanism set up by the Commission for their protection.

The first port of call was Kuta in Shiroro local government area, where Shiroro Dam, termed the best hydro-dam in the country is located. 

Electricity Consumers comprising representatives of various trade unions all converged at the town hall to meet with the NERC delegation in the company of Business Managers of the distribution company and representatives of Consumer Protection Council, Royal fathers amongst others. 

Abba urged the gathering to brace up for a new dawn in the power sector, in cognisance of the sales of some aspects of the power industry to private ownership.

 ‘’We are all set for a new dawn in the electricity service in Nigeria. Part of our responsibility is to ensure we pursue consumer protection for good service delivery’’. Abba said.

The meetings registered large town out with similar messages related to electricity consumers in Kontagora and Bida. Council Chairmen of the three area councils spoke in the same vein, requesting that the Commission impress it on the Federal Government to increase efforts at making Shiroro dam function more effectively.

 

Maryam Yaya Abubakar – Head, Media

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NERC LAUDS LAGOS STATE POWER INITIATIVE

Press Release   11.11.13 -24

NERC LAUDS LAGOS STATE POWER INITIATIVE

Lagos state has been described as the fastest growing metropolis in the light of its strive to stem epileptic electricity supply in the country. This follows the commissioning of the Island Power Expansion (IPP2), which took place on 31 October, 2013.

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Dr. Sam Amadi said that Lagos state was fully aware of its energy need as it is targeting intervention that focuses on areas that cannot be covered by the national grid.

Dr. Amadi gave kudos to the Lagos state Electricity Board, in partivular, the General Manager, Damilola Ogunbiyi for her commitment to the project and the Commissioner, Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, Engineer Taofiq Tijani for believing in Fashola’s vision for an electrified metropolis that would curtail criminality on the streets.

‘’ Lagos is the most innovative Energy Board in the country, no doubt Lagos will continue to be the centre of excellence’’ Amadi said. 

According to him, the drive for energy security by the Lagos state government has come about through creative thinking worth emulating. He gave the Commission’s assurances of assisting the state with regulatory partnership.

The Managing Director and CEO, Fidelity Bank, Reginald Ihejiahi on the occasion lauded the milestone which he noted took just two to accomplish. So far, the plant has resulted in uninterrupted power supply and water availability across the state.

Maryam Yaya Abubakar – Head, Media 

 

House Committee on Power visits NERC

As part of the legislative practice of the national assembly, a 14 man delegation of the House Committee on Power has paid a visit to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

The delegation on the 26th of September, 2013 called on the Commission to gather first-hand information on issues that are generating public discourse in the media.

The Chairman, House Committee on Power, Hon Patrick Ikhariale said that the committee considers NERC an important stakeholder in the power sector, which needs to be guarded jealously so as maintain the tenets of the EPSR (2005) Act, which set up the Commission.

‘’Your responsibility is becoming larger, we are looking at the privatisation and know that NERC is key to the power sector’’, Patrick said.
 
He called on the Commission’s Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi to pursue due diligence and transparency in the post privatisation of the power sector. Ikhariale advocated for additional NERC zonal offices; to make for easy access to electricity consumers to seek redress.

In his response, Dr. Sam Amadi informed the legislators of the Commission’s collaboration with stakeholders. ‘’In the last couple of weeks, we have been meeting with stakeholders. We are keeping an eye on the transmission company; to make sure corporate governance is practiced as well as working to ensure funding that will enable it work well’’ Amadi revealed.

The Commission’s helmsman further disclosed that NERC was already making provisions for additional zonal offices in its 2014 budget.  He commended the committee for playing a part leading up to the existing zonal offices.

NERC zonal offices are located in the six geopolitical zones namely: Ekiti (South West), Sokoto (North West), Owerri (South East), Calabar (South South), Gombe (North East) and Makurdi (North Central).

Meanwhile, new owners of the generation and distribution companies are expected to implement the existing metering order earlier released by the Commission.

Maryam Yaya Abubakar – Head, Media
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NERC holds Public Consultation on Health and Safety Code

...SET RULES FOR PENALTIES FOR NON-COMPLIANT LICENCEES

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has developed a health and safety code to ensure safety of equipment, utility workers and members of the public in general.

This was made known at a public consultation on Health and Safety Code, following the completion of the nine hundred and fifty page document, prepared by a codification committee comprising representatives of Generation Companies (GENCOs), Independent Power Producers (IPPs), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Licensed Electrical Contractors of Nigeria ( LECAN) and the Ministries  of Power and Justice.

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi, decried the incidences of deaths recorded so far,  informing the gathering that last year alone, the industry witnessed one hundred and two deaths resulting from electrocution with seventy two injuries. He also lamented fifty nine deaths with sixty injuries witnessed between January and July this year.

Amadi expressed the importance of carrying stakeholders along before the final approval of the document which is expected to become effective ninety days after approval. According to him, NERC will demand hundred per cent compliance.

‘’With the code in place, it is expected that the industry operators will set up health and safety activities in their companies. From now on, electrocution cases will no longer be treated lightly’’ Amadi said.

He further said that safety was not just about hardware, but about attitude.
‘’Consumers are to behave consciously, that way safety incidences will be minimised’’.

NERC Commissioners for Engineering Standards and Safety, and Legal, Licensing and Enforcement, Mary Awolokun and Steven Andzenge, spoke respectively that the Commission aims to ensure that Health and Safety is taken seriously at all times, and declared that NERC was duty bound to complete the process.

The health and safety code covers electricity supply lines, equipment and associated work practices employed by public and private electricity companies. It also includes utility facilities up to service points.
 
On the general rules, equipment shall be designed, constructed, operated and maintained to meet the requirements of the rules. It applies to new installations and extensions except that they may be waived or modified by the Commission whereupon safety shall be provided in other ways.

The code has five parts including a guide to evaluating safety programs, it also provides safety and industry best practices on workers safety, record-keeping, training and investigation.
 

Maryam Yaya Abubakar - Head, Media
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NERC and Industry Health and Safety Managers review performance

Electricity Industry Health and Safety Managers have met with the Engineering, Standards and Safety Division of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to review their performance with regard to safety issues.

The quarterly meeting which took place on the 27TH of August, 2013 was the second in the series, with the first held in March, 2013.

Commissioner, Engineering Standards and Safety, Engr. Mary Awolokun lamented deaths recorded so far in the course of work, which she attributed to lack of attention to safety. According to her, the deaths could have been avoided if the standards had been adhered to.

Awolokun appealed to their conscience by urging them not to take their positions as routine, but one that needs a reliable and safe environment.
 
‘’It does not augur well for the industry, take safety serious’’ Awolokun said.
 
Awolokun noted with regret that there had been fifty nine deaths and sixty-four injuries in the period under review.

Speaking in the same vein, Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi said that the health and safety indicators have shown only eighty- eight per cent compliance, whereas international standard stipulates a hundred percent compliance. He encouraged the managers to work at a zero level occurrence.

Amadi empathized with them on the challenges they may be experiencing, but noted the value in safety.

‘’ Safety is not all cost, it has value. It saves lives, it saves the network’’ Amadi said.

According to him, utmost professionalism is expected and went on to encourage the participants to share ideas with the Commission on safety as it would be for the benefit of all. 


Maryam Yaya Abubakar – Head, Media
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Association of Integrated Power Producers tells NERC they are determined .....urges the Commission to resolve bottlenecks

A delegation of the Integrated Power Project Association of Nigeria (IPAN), led by its Chairman, Professor Jerry Gana recently paid a courtesy call on the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), where it reiterated its determination to work assiduously to change the power situation in the country.
 
The delegation, all of whom are licensed producers appreciated the licenses issued them and gave the assurance to see that it is translated to power generation in line with the Commission’s promise to the public on power availability and affordability.

Gana proposed a quarterly meeting with the Commission, as well as a summit on gas. He also urged NERC to resolve what he described as bottlenecks that needed urgent regulatory intervention.

Gana argued for waivers for power related equipment and also called for a viable metering system as the public outcry in that regard has been raging on.

IPAN spoke on the place of the bulk trader in the scheme of things in the sector, noting that it will need a lot of support to enable it stand as a guarantor to investors. This follows the claim that the bulk trader was presently not financially viable, thus calling to question its ability to protect the investor should the federal government fail to meet its part of the commitment.

The delegation revealed it was taking a stand to defend its investments from vandals as perpetrators have continued to show viciousness in their action.

IPAN commended the tariff put out by the Commission, declaring that it was encouraging and an incentive to investors. 

In his response, the Commission’s Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi revealed that the Commission was already working out a regulation for electricity offences that will soon be announced.

Concerning the bulk trader, Amadi made IPAN to understand that the bulk trader liability was actually federal government’s liability, although it has a contractual obligation to investors.
 
On metering, Amadi revealed that the regulation on it has been concluded including meter production, supply and installation and that the Commission was also advocating for the setup of meter manufacturing firms in Nigeria.

Amadi assured IPAN that it would give extra push on gas supply to see that it is available as when needed.

NERC and IPAN will be meeting on a quarterly basis in a bid to keep each other abreast of their activities.

Maryam Yaya Abubakar - Head, Media
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Investment and Money go Hand in Hand - Amadi tells Civil Societies in Lagos

Investors would have to find the market environment attractive or they will not invest, according to the Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi. He made the remark at a one day forum with Journalists for Democratic Rights and Human Rights Community (JODER) held on 23rd August, 2013 in Lagos.

Amadi did not mince words when he said that high population coupled with past government‘s failure to invest in the sector has brought the country to the sorry state it has found itself.   He said that the country has seen a way of changing the situation through investors. 

‘’ Power production needs investments that spans years, contracts are signed, funds are injected into the market and someone has to agree to buy for certain number of years’’.

He explained that one megawatt of electricity capacity costs about a million dollars; hence investors in partnership with their local and foreign collaborators are needed.

He explained further that the Commission foresees an electricity industry where there will be adequate power supply which would lead to lower pricing. Presently, the reverse is the case, which is why the public outcry on the tariff has been heard.

He said the real question was on making the market friendly for the right investors. On the Commission’s part, effective regulation is regarded as one that   listens to the voice of the people. According to him, NERC seeks the active participation of the civil society groups.

The representative of the South West civil society coalition, Adewale Adeoye declared that there is a significant link between human right and energy provision that makes the civil right content of the energy sector imperative.

Adeoye informed that JODER called the meeting   because it needed to engage the Commission to work out avenues for redress to several complaints of human rights violation experienced in the sector.

‘’ We have seen a situation where Nigerians cannot challenge the authorities in the power sector even when their rights are brutally violated’’ he said.
 
The groups left the meeting with a resolve to form a coalition that would curtail exploitative actions by the new owners.
 

Maryam Yaya Abubakar - Head, Media
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NERC and Civil Societies Partner for Affordable and Reliable Electricity

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has as its goal the provision of electricity availability, affordability, safe and reliable supply as reiterated in a new partnership with Civil Societies groups in Abuja.

This was at a forum organised in collaboration with a civil society group; ‘’Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) on the 22nd of August, 2013.

The interactive meeting was aimed at bridging the gap between the Commission and the consumer.
 
The Commission Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi was categorical in describing as false the notion that the tariff has been set up solely to benefit investors, rather the Commission is working at providing the much needed electricity.

‘’ We are very clear about our obligation to the people because we are here to work for the consumer’’.

Amadi appealed for trust ‘’ We want to create a relationship of trust’’ he said.  This being the reason it endorsed the Freedom of Information Bill (FoIB) because NERC recognises the peoples' right to know.
 
According to him, civil society groups were consulted in the process leading up to the new tariff, and are still being consulted because of the high regards the Commission accords them.
 
He allayed fears concerning the new owners when the privatisation process eventually wraps up by declaring ‘’ NERC will not sit back and let the new owners exploit you’’, Amadi pledged.

Managing Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center, Auwal Ibrahim Musa lamented the collapse of what used to be thriving industries in the country, as a result of power supply challenges and called for joint efforts to see to their resuscitation.
 
He said that the manufacturing sector has been identified to make high use of electricity, approximately 2000 MegaWatts to keep the factories running.

Rafsanjani was of the view that  urgent  action was needed  to save companies from collapse, as huge sums of money , about 50 per cent generated incomes were spent on fuelling generators.

He noted that electricity availability and affordability has become the bane in the progress of any nation ‘’the development of various sectors of the economy, such as industry, agriculture, health, education and tourism depends heavily on available, adequate and economically priced power’’.

Rafsanjani urged the Commission to protect consumers from being exploited by their service providers, but at the same time appealed to the public to be patient and be supportive of the Commission’s efforts.  

Maryam Yaya Abubakar - Head, Media
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NERC and Office of the President on Job Creation - Set to combat unemployment

NERC WELCOMES KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER FOR JOB CREATION - AMADI
… WE CANNOT WORK IN ISOLATION - JONATHAN JOB EXPERT
   
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi, has said that the Commission has knowledgeable staff that are ready to assist youths in the areas of  knowledge transfer and mentoring.

Amadi said this when the Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation, Josephine Woshima, paid him a courtesy call on the 20th of August, 2013, in Abuja.

The Commission’s helmsman had described the visit as timely, bearing in mind the teeming unemployed youths in the country, and urged Woshima to use her office to create an avenue such as a boot camp for youths, where the Commission’s staff can avail themselves to share knowledge on new technologies in the electricity industry, adding that the need for human capital development cannot be over-emphasized.

He mentioned the collaboration between the Commission and the Nigerian University Commission saying, "We are collaborating with the NUC to make Nigerian graduates competitive in the labour market’’.
 
Amadi made Ms. Woshima to understand that the Commission has never relented in its duties as stipulated in the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (2005) which includes, to monitor performance and ensure that players in the industry comply with its guidelines, and also to create investment opportunities that are sustainable.

In her remarks, Woshima revealed that it was pertinent for her office to interact with agencies with regard to job creation issues. According to her, her office clearly knows that it cannot work in isolation which is why it is working with other agencies to see to the realisation of the mandate. Woshima intimated that her office was working on a database for employment and got the Commission’s assurances to assist in that regard.


Maryam Yaya Abubakar – Head, Media
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NERC and Power Africa Initiative Meet ...consider Power Africa Policy principles

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and a President Barack Obama team referred to as ‘’Power Africa Initiative’’ have held a meeting to discuss key investments initiatives that can be harnessed for Nigerian industries.

The meeting was at the instance of the Power Africa Group which considers Nigeria a key nation in the scheme of things in Africa. This meeting was held on the 15TH of August, 2013 at the Commission’s Head office in Abuja.

The team leader and coordinator for Power Africa and Trade Africa, Andrew Herscowits noted that Nigeria is an attractive place to invest. He said that Nigeria is its model at a goal-oriented drive and implementation of the initiative; the impact for which can then be replicated in other African countries.

Herscowits said that the Commission could count on its support for specific targeted assistance, which makes it imperative for the collaboration that would shape the group’s intervention. He stressed that it was all about partnership.

A member of the team and Director, Economic Growth Office of USAID, Sharon Paciling buttressed the fact that USAID was already into a result yielding partnership with the Commission. Therefore, the Power Africa Initiative provides yet a veritable avenue for sustaining and furthering the parameters of the existing collaboration. She noted that the group was actually considering maximizing its support to NERC.

In his response, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi assured the delegation of better communication and feedback.  He then stated that the Nigeria’s Power Sector Reform has been most consistent. He specifically pointed out that the reform was moving the electricity industry towards a competitive market that would be driven by private sector.

Amadi pinpointed NERC’s critical role in the drive for the transformation and also advanced the cardinal point of regulation, which was, to ensure transparency.

‘’The Commission wants to be seen as the regulator that solves problems through consultation’’ Amadi said.

The Chairman advocated for support in the area of new technology so that graduates can fit in better with contemporary practice in the labour market. That way, the human resource capacity being driven by Power Africa Initiative can be achieved.  
  
Maryam Yaya Abubakar – Head , Media
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Tariff Did Not Increase Due To Inflation

Following a misleading report published in a newspaper on 6th August 2012, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission wishes to clarify the issues surrounding the electricity tariff.
 
NERC has not changed, or increased tariffs since 2012. Rather, it is the tariffs as published in the 2012 Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) that have come into effect in June 1, 2013. The report wrongly stated that NERC increased tariffs due to increase in the rate of inflation. The reverse is actually the case. The inflation rate in the MYTO has not changed because inflation in Nigeria has remained single digit. NERC could not have increased tariffs due to rate of inflation which has remained stable.

In 2012, NERC published the MYTO – a tariff plan that sets both wholesale and retail tariffs for the industry over a five year period. This means that tariffs have already been set for every year starting 2012 through to 2016. Effective June 1 of every year, a new tariff is to take effect. This will continue till the five-year period of the MYTO has lapsed, after which there will be a major review.

In between the major reviews are bi-annual minor reviews that look out for significant changes in macroeconomic indicators such as interest rate, inflation and exchange rates. These minor reviews do not automatically translate to an increase in tariffs. In fact, if the conditions are right, minor reviews could lead to a decrease in tariffs, if not maintaining the status quo.

So far, NERC has conducted two of such minor reviews, and the outcome of the review exercises have not led to any changes in the published multi-year tariff. The tariff remains the unchanged for now.

For further details, the general public is encouraged to visit our website on www.nercng.org and download the tariff document.


Maryam Yaya Abubakar - Assistant General Manager, Media
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Electricity Companies Ordered To Install Meters Or Stop Charging New Tariff

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission – NERC has issued a 14-day ultimatum to electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) that are in violation of its Order to submit a list of all customers who paid for meters since January 2011, and commence metering them with immediate effect.

“Any DISCO that does not comply with this new directive will be barred from collecting the new electricity tariff”, Chairman/CEO NERC - Dr. Sam Amadi says.

In a letter dated 19th July, the Commission expressed its utter dismay that all DISCOs have been in complete violation of the order as it relates to customers who have made payments within the given time frame, and have not been identified for immediate metering.
 
“NERC views this conduct as totally unresponsive, and undermining the effort of the reform”- Amadi.

NERC had earlier in the year issued an Order on CAPMI – Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation. CAPMI was a response by the regulator to address the lingering issue of non-issuance of meters by the electricity companies. CAPMI allows for any interested and willing customer to advance money to their electricity distribution company and in return will be given electricity credit until the cost of the meter has been recovered by the customer.

The CAPMI Order, amongst other things, stipulated that all distribution companies forward to NERC data of all customers who paid for meters but had not been supplied.

It can be recalled that in 2011, a N2.9billion metering intervention fund was made available to the companies with a view to closing the unacceptable metering gap. One year after, no appreciable progress was made by the companies, and this compelled NERC to demand for performance reports from the DISCOs. Eight of the twelve DISCOs submitted reports that fell far short of the requirements of NERC. The rest did not submit any report of how they spent the money.

The DISCOs were further warned that failure to comply with the 14-day ultimatum would also compel the Commission to institute enforcement procedures that may result in the removal of a Chief Executive Officer of an electricity distribution company.


Maryam Yaya Abubakar - Assistant General Manager, Media
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Promoting Fair and Reasonable Pricing of Electricity - Statement by Dr. Sam Amadi – Chairman/CEO at a Press Conference by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Monday, 15th July, 2013

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has noted the comments of Nigerians on the recent increase in the fixed charges for some class of customers, including a story in today’s ThisDay attributing comments to the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, that centred around a purported arbitrary increase of an unstated and undefined charge from =N=225 to =N=700 Questions have been asked as to why such ‘increase’ at this time and the rationale for charging fixed charges for electricity consumption.

As a responsible regulator we are committed to respond to the concerns raised by consumers in print and electronic media and through social media. We consider it of utmost importance to always explain to the consumers that the tariffs they pay are fair, reasonable and necessary to guarantee continuous improvement in electricity supply to Nigerian homes and businesses.

Has NERC Increased the Tariff Again?

NERC wants to make it clear that since 1st June 2012 when the second edition of the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO 2) came into force, it has conducted two Minor Reviews and published its findings on 1st December 2012 and 1st June 2013, as required by the law. A Minor Review under the Multi-Year Tariff Methodology published by NERC in 2012 involves an examination of interest rates, exchange rates, inflation rates and available generation capacity during the preceding 6 months; and if these report a change of plus or minus 5% individually, such change will be applied to the tariff published for each distribution company.

The two Minor Reviews conducted by NERC did not result in any increase of tariff because the indices stated above and the fundamentals of the MYTO, as shown in the Methodology and the financial model available published in full on NERC’s website have not significantly changed. We must state that the commencement and results of both Minor Reviews were announced via various national print and electronic media, including some that have carried various provocative statements that bear absolutely no connection with the truth.

The changes that some customers have belatedly noticed in their electricity bills were announced by the commission on 1st June 2012.  The MYTO stipulates tariffs for the 5-year period from 1st June 2012 to 31st May 2017 based on the expected cost of generating, transmitting and distributing the electricity for homes and businesses during these years. This means that the tariff order issued to every distribution company has an approved tariff for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Except there is a Minor Review of the MYTO, which takes place semi-annually, with results announced on 1st December and 1st June each year, each distribution companies is authorized to collect only the approved tariff announced by NERC. An examination of the tariff tables for the respective eleven (11) distribution companies that were nationally published last year shows all the tariffs for the period 2012 – 2017. The total electricity tariff paid by all consumers in Nigeria comprises a single monthly fixed charge and a variable energy charge that is based on consumption.

It must be made clear that for residential customers who use either single-phase meters or three-phase meter (R2), the fixed charge approved under MYTO is N500 for 2012 and N700 for 2013. Accordingly, on 1st June 2013, their fixed charge changed from N500 to N700 as prescribed in the MYTO. This happened without any further action from the commission.

NERC is committed to the highest standards of accountability and transparency. The MYTO was designed and executed with utmost transparency and full participation of relevant stakeholders. Several public hearings and consultations were organized in Abuja and Lagos to afford consumers and other stakeholders the full opportunity to participate in tariff setting, which many stakeholders took advantage of. In addition, NERC arranged and held special meetings with those organized groups, including residents associations, estate developers, small and medium scale enterprises, industrial and commercial interest groups and trade unions that reciprocated our genuine effort to engage with them. We note that, particularly, the Chairman of NERC made a comprehensive to the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress in Jos, Plateau State. 

The financial and technical assumptions of the MYTO were validated by relevant public and private institutions, including acclaimed experts and academics. The two Minor Reviews so far conducted have confirmed the soundness of the Commission’s financial and technical assumptions and particularly the fact that as required by Section 76 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, Nigeria’s electricity tariffs enable operators to recover the prudent cost of their operations plus a reasonable return on capital.

The Need for Fixed Charge:

The MYTO has two components of tariff for most electricity consumers: the fixed charge and energy charge. In the past consumers paid for Meter Maintenance Fee. The Commission abolished the Meter Maintenance Fee (MMF) in 2011 to make tariff in the industry fair and reasonable. Fixed Charge is a component of electricity tariff all over the world. It is charged to recover some of the capital costs for producing and supplying electricity. In designing the fixed charge NERC ensured that very poor consumers on R1 are not charged fixed charge and that most of the residential consumers are subsidized. The fact is that the current =N=700 fixed charge for R2 residential customers actually recovers only a small fraction of the actual fixed cost of supply. As NERC stated in its Methodology, it permit the recovery of the full cost of the fixed charge only as significant improvements in quality of service are shown.

We agree with all stakeholders that we must ensure the success of the power sector reform. As a regulator we understand that the basis for any sustainable improvement in the networks is that we can attract investment to increase the generation capacity, transmission and distribution network. The reality, which we all know, is that without tariffs that cover the prudent costs of producing and supply electricity in the country there will be no such investment. The ultimate need of the consumers of electricity in Nigeria is that they have access to stable electricity. The objective of the tariff review in 2012 was to ensure cost recovery as a way of guaranteeing stable electricity in the nearest future.

We regret that the distribution companies have not been very committed to meeting their obligations in the MYTO. NERC recognizes that the quality of service has not seen significant improvement, especially in the area of metering and accurate billing of customers. We have responded with regulations to enforce correct billing of unmetered customers and the new CAPMI metering policy. We will continue to enforce these regulations and interventions to improve quality of supply before the preferred bidders take over the networks. Our expectation for significant and sustained improvements in electricity supply and quality of service lies in the expected take-over by the privatisation preferred bidders who have better incentives and commitment and have made enforceable promises to invest continuously in providing better services to consumers. These investments and commensurate improvements will not all be made in one day but over the coming months, years and decades following the entry of new investors and managers of our distribution companies.

Once again, we want to call on consumer groups and civil society groups to get more engaged with the work of the Commission. The Business Rules of the Commission allows any person aggrieved by the orders of the commission to file a proper petition for the review of the order upon proper consideration by the Commission. The small and medium enterprises utilized this provision to request NERC to review the fixed charge paid by small and medium enterprises. This review will shortly become effective. The NLC or any other organized consumer or civil society group can bring similar matters for the consideration of the Commission if they so wish and they will be given a full and fair hearing.

Let us work together to provide stable and reliable electricity to Nigerian homes and businesses. Thank you.

Maryam Yaya Abubakar - Assistant General Manager, Media
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Chairman NERC Backs Freedom of Information Law, Says It Will Improve Quality of Governance

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Reform of Government, Honorable Mathew Omegara, has described the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) as the 'Champion of the Freedom of Information law in Nigeria'.

He made the remarks at the Committee's interactive session with Chief Executives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the federal government on Tuesday, July 14, 2013. He praised NERC for being the first agency in Nigeria to publicly begin implementation of the FOI law and the first to proactively make the 16 mandatory disclosures as required by the FOI law. He told the Chief Executives that it was NERC's proactive implementation of the FOI law that goaded the committee to enhance oversight of the implementation of the freedom of information law. He enjoined other agencies to seek advice from NERC on how they can comply with the requirements of the FOI law.

The Committee Chairman further noted that it was in recognition of the leadership role of NERC in providing free access to information on energy regulation that the Committee has selected Dr. Sam Amadi, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NERC as a resource person and ambassador of FOI to help enlighten and build the capacity of the MDAs to understand how to use the FOI to engender accountability and accountability in public governance. Amadi said that “the whole idea is to create an open government because Freedom of Information greatly improves the quality of governance”.

In his presentation, the Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, listed the various actions undertaken by the Commission in pursuit of the prescriptions of the FOI law, including being the first and only agency in Nigeria to publicly declare a code of conduct that commits every staff of the commission to the highest standards of disclosure and transparency. He further disclosed that NERC has designated a desk officer for the FOI and has trained relevant officers locally and international in other to ensure responsiveness to FOI request. Dr. Amadi assured the Committee that NERC as a regulator would mandate complete disclosures for all licensees in the electricity industry in other to ensure effective energy audit and ensure quality services to the consumers.

On the challenges he has encountered in championing freedom of information at NERC, Dr. Amadi noted that the most difficult challenge is conceptual hurdle because of the erroneous belief that disclosure would do to an organization. He argued contrary that, an open government is more stable and efficient as feedbacks from citizens and customer improve organizational processes and outcomes. He also advised Chief Executives to realize that without transformation in the corporate culture, it would be difficult for their agencies to make the paradigm shift required to fully embrace the FOI law. He promised that he would continue to assist the House Committee on Reform of Government to make FOI a living experience in Nigeria.

Maryam Yaya Abubakar - Assistant General Manager, Media
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