Written by Sarah NEGEDU

NERC to address tariff issues

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has assured electricity consumers that it will be tackling power tariff challenges head-on, so as to put an end the lingering debate on electricity tariff in the country.

The assurance was given by the new Chairman of the commission, Prof. James Momoh, after his inauguration by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Barr. Babatunde Fashola.

Momoh who spoke with newsmen on the sideline of his inauguration, said power tariff challenges were solvable, adding that his team would use lessons learnt in the past to address the problems confronting the sector.

“If we are able to teach people to know why things go wrong, perhaps we will learn from our mistakes. We will look back and use lessons learnt yesterday to solve tomorrow’s problems. We must begin to anticipate problems so that we can provide solutions. The tariff is just an example. It is not a challenge that you cannot solve.

“It happened, you learnt something about it last week; so, you don’t have to re-learn the same lesson today. We should be able to ask questions to avoid the problem. We have something called data science – the new thinking in the world, where we have idea of you collecting data, you learn from the information and you predict the future. If we don’t do that, we will be wasting our time.”

He said all necessary calculations on electricity tariff will be done by the commission to get the right amounts to be paid by power consumers across the country.

“We have no choice, we have to look at what computes a tariff. It is not a guess work; there is a calculation you do to get there; so, that is an idea.”

Since the privatization the Nigerian power sector in November 2013, the sector has witnessed at least five tariff reviews, with some stakeholders questioning the rationale behind some of the reviews.

On his vision for the commission in his tenure, the NERC boss said that he will be looking into the incessant power outage in the country.

“I brought with me the knowledge and experience that I have about power engineering and, of course, the ability to work in teams and to address quick wins – what can we do with respect to what we heard about estimated metering, how do we make sure that we get enough data so that customers are also convinced to pay for the power they use based on what we provide.

“At the same time, we will bring the best practices to ensure that we have quality supply and reliable power. What we bring is also to ensure that there is innovation in the industry, because if we remain the same and remain static and not solve real problems, we will just be doing a fire brigade thing.”

 

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