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Outrage as new electricity tariff takes effect

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images 8 Outrage as new electricity tariff takes effect

Electricity consumers may be heading for a collision course with the Federal Government over its revised electricity tariff christened ‘Service Reflective Tariff’ which took effect yesterday.

The consumers had in the first five months of 2020 paid an estimated N236.5 billion for power consumed, an indication that the figure may rise in subsequent months with the latest tariff hike

But the new tariff regime has abolished the old billing system and introduced another one having new classes of tariff categorisation as approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

Under the old tariff regime, per kilowatt hour(Kwh) for residential consumers under Ikeja Electric was N21.80 but has now risen to N53.87 for same category under the new service reflective tariff and N66.42 per kwh for non -residential or Maximum Demand(MD consumers under Kaduna Electric. The plan, according to NERC was for the sector to gradually make a transition to a full cost-recovery market where cost of services provided will be fully recovered while services are also expected to improve within a very short time in the areas of customer service delivery, infrastructure upgrade, metering and technological solutions based on the level of investments that will be attracted going forward. Customers are now categorised into Maximum Demand customers (MD) and Non-Maximum Demand (Non-MD) customers, in place of the usual Residential, Commercial and Industrial customer classes. Under the new tariff, all customers have now been clustered into different bands depending on the level of service currently being enjoyed.

The new order directed the DisCos to bill customers in accordance to their classifications, adding that Nigerians who receive less than 12-hour supply of electricity will not be affected in the latest hike until service improves. “This order shall take effect from September 1, 2020 and shall cease to have an effect on the issuance of a new minor review order or an extraordinary tariff review order by the Commission,” NERC stated.

“The order reflects the impact of changes in macroeconomic parameters and revenue requirements and a revised tariff design that aligns rates paid by customers with the quality of services as measured by the average availability of power over a month period.

“Pursuant to the objective of incentivising a continuous improvement of service for all customers, there shall be no tariff reviews for customers experiencing an average power supply availability of less than 12 hours per day over a period of one month. “Unmetered customers within service bands A,B and C thus benefiting from a supply availability in excess of an average of 12 hours per day over a period of one month as affected by this tariff order shall be protected by the provision of order on capping of estimated bills in the NESI and federal government intervention on accelerated metering of all customers. “The Commission orders that you shall continue to maintain the lifeline tariff of N4 per kW for all customers consuming less than 50kw per hour of energy per month as a safeguard for the less privileged members of the society,” NERC added.

An Electricity Law expert at the University of Lagos, Prof Yemi Oke, slammed NERC over the introduction of the tariff, saying it was still an abuse of consumer rights and would not ultimately address the their concerns. Oke said cost reflective tariff does not give consumers the choice of flexibility and would in turn subject them to shortchange by the Discos. He said the ultimate solution lies in every consumer being metered to help regulate consumption in a way to suit their lifestyle. He equally faulted the methodology used by NERC in arriving at the current cost per kilowatt hour, saying the tariff is high.

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Fuel Scarcity Looms As Depots Stop Loading

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images 2020 10 22T134311.286 Fuel Scarcity Looms As Depots Stop Loading

The scarcity of petroleum products is imminent in Nigeria as some depots have stopped loading-trucks, The Nation learnt on Wednesday.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN ) National Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi, disclosed this to our Abuja correspondent on phone.
He added that the #EndSARS protests and the resultant crises have stopped the marketers from transiting their loaded trucks.
According to him, since petroleum products are highly inflammable, the drivers decided to park their trucks in safe places nationwide.
He explained that since consumers buy fuel on daily basis and there is no replacement, there is bound to be a scarcity of petroleum products.
Maigandi further said the marketers do not hoard products so there will be no reservoirs to turn to upon the exhaustion of available stock.
Asked whether there is any fear of scarcity, he said “definitely, because some of the depots are not loading due of insecurity.
“The ones that have already loaded parked their trucks in the yards so that protesters will not set them on fire. There is no way you can have sufficient fuels in the filling stations because we don’t do hoarding.”
The IPMAN National Vice President urged the protesters to dialogue with the Federal Government for the amicable resolution of the crises.
He asked them to embrace the olive branch because of the economic losses that emanate from the crisis.
His words: “The EndSARS issue is a Nigerian issue so the protesters and government should dialogue over it for a lasting solution. Nigerians (both government and the governed need to have attitudinal change. So, it is better to dialogue. “

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Ease of doing business: FG to use legislation to attain top 100 countries’ status

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images 100 1 Ease of doing business: FG  to use legislation to attain top 100 countries’ status

The Federal Government has said that it was working on the legislative interventions to enable the country move to the top 100 countries on ease of doing business ranking.

Speaking to newsmen on the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES-26), in Abuja, Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, noted that Nigeria would continue to initiate business-oriented policies and ensure adequate commitment to their implementation.

“As the nation awaits the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, the Finance Act and the Companies and Allied Matters Act (Repeal and Re-enaactment) recently signed by Mr President will transform the business environment and re-energises the private sector as the engine of growth of the economy” she said.

The Minister said that the greatest challenge facing the government is inadequate revenue to execute its numerous projects and other initiatives, adding that co-ordination and cohesion among revenue generating agencies is being improved.

The Minister further said that government was currently developing a Medium Term National Development Plan (MTNDP), 2021-2025 and the Nigeria Agenda 2050. The plans, she said, are to address developmental challenges in all aspects of the country’s national life and will be driven by the Organised Private Sector while government creates the enabling environment to facilitate growth and development and aligned to the continental agenda (AU Agenda 2063) and Global Agenda (Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 2030.

“The MTNDP 2021-2025 is expected to be formally launched in December, 2020 while the Nigeria Agenda 2050 will be finalised in July 2021” she noted.

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LUPAN rejects arbitrary increase in base oil import

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images 3 LUPAN rejects arbitrary increase in base oil import

The Lubricant Producers Association of Nigeria (LUPAN) has rejected arbitrary increase of base oil import from N0.10Kobo to N1.23Kobo per litre by Petroleum Product Pricing Agency (PPPRA).

According to the Executive Secretary of the Association, Mr. Emeka Obidike, over time the Association has been besieged by complaints from operators of being tasked with the payment of dues, charges, levies and/or compelled to register with Agencies irrelevant to their operations or the sector as a whole.

He said operators on the verge of having their  consignments confiscated,  often find themselves acceding to their demands and further being inundated by  a deluge of paperwork,  draconian directives, bureaucratic protocols, all culminating in the delayed release of consignments, accrual of unwarranted demurrage, other ancillary expenses and the eventual hike in price of blended lubricants.

In statement made available to Daily Sun, Obidike said the Association has written to the PPPRA protesting this state of affairs and categorically stating that the Petroleum Act, the Department of Petroleum Resources is the primary regulator of the petroleum sector, overseeing activities that relate to production, importation and exportation of petroleum products and indeed all affairs relating to the oil and gas industry (upstream, midstream and downstream) and that the PPPRA’s continued refusal to acknowledge this fact could be construed as a blatant disregard, duplications and encroachment on the authority and jurisdiction of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), adding that the association has written similarly to the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo to call PPPRA to order.

He explained that base oil is a raw material that undergoes further value addition, unlike other white products; 100 per cent import-dependent, likewise the additives applied, which risk is solely borne by the importer; attracts duty of 5 per cent, and is not subject to regulation as its pricing is subject to market forces. “There is also a patent lack of government intervention (Subsidy) and unaccommodating policies.”

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