*Accuse NERC Of Depriving DisCos N58 Billion Tariff Revenues

 

Power sector experts have accused the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) of politicisation and inconsistency in policy decisions.

NERC is a federal government wholly owned agency and the nation’s apex power sector regulatory agency charged with the sector’s day to day regulation of operators, introduction of policies, and imposition of sanctions against violation impartially, among others.

The experts also accused NERC of depriving the power Distribution Companies (DisCos) the sum of N58 billion being tariffs revenues which would have accrued to the DisCos if NERC had complied with review of the Multi Year Tariff Order.

The electricity sector experts spoke while making presentations at a Electricity policy education workshop organised by the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) and MacArthur Foundation with the theme “Challenges of the Nigerian power sector”.

Specifically, while making presentations on “Getting to know the power sector and its challenges” Mr. Yemi Omoyelu, an energy resource person maintained that the recent introduction of eligible customers negates the spirit of Power Purchase and Performance Agreements.

He explained that prior to the acquisition of the Distribution Companies (DisCos) in 2013 by private investors, there was an agreement between the Federal government and the new investors and the agreement was for a period of five years which has not expired before the government decided to alter operations in the sector.

He said by taking away eligible customers from the DisCos, the government has deprived the DisCos of their major source of revenue. The eligible customers are the bulk consumers approved by the federal government through NERC to procure their power directly from the Generation Companies (GenCos) without going through DisCos.

Omoyelu wondered how the government introduced eligible customers when the agreement upon which the DisCos had made calculations about their customers and expected revenue.

On the review of Multi Year Tariffs Order (MYTO), he said the NERC had refused to review the tariff for three consecutive times and by so doing deprived DisCos about N46 billion in 2016 alone.

According to him, the tariff ought to have been reviewed twice in 2016, that is from January 2016, to June 2016 and July to December 2016.

On his part, the ANED Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Sunday Oduntan, accused NERC of being politicised citing that the MYTO which ought to have been reviewed since July 2015 was suspended for political reasons.

He said DisCos were deprived of N12 billion tariff revenue between July, 2015 to December, 2015 and wondered why the NERC management deferred the effective date of reviewed tariff in 2015 to January, 2016 which implementation was furthered deferred indefinitely.

Oduntan further accused NERC of inconsistency and inefficient in carrying out its assigned mandate even as he noted that there are some experienced staff within the Commission who would have done things better if not politicised.