The chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Professor James Momoh, has assured the West African nation that “stable power supply in the nation will be realized in our lifetime.”
Momoh is confident that this would be achieved when the metering situation in the country improves through the intervention of current Meter Asset Providers’ scheme coupled with the rollout of renewable energy.
The chairman said that: “We are committed to improving the quality of lives of Nigerians every day and every minute. The target is that by the time we have improved meter within two years that will improve the quality of service all over the country.”
He added: “By the time we allow renewable energy before 2030, a lot will be done. Formerly, I am saying do we have a target when all Nigerians will be powered? Hopefully, in our lifetime it will happen.”
Clarification of electricity tariff
The NERC official also provided clarity on the current electricity tariff situation in the country, saying the Commission has not increased tariff contrary to what had been making the rounds since it published what he called, “a minor review” last month.
According to Momoh, “we [NERC] have not increased tariff at the moment. What we have done is, ask the big question: When do we get this thing right given that the Discos say we need cost-reflective tariff to be able to provide services that we actually should do?
“So we did a minor review which is a review that takes into account the exchange rate, gas availability, availability of capacity generation, network availability, to make sure there is meter available to customers.”
Momoh explained: “NERC would have to take advantage of this opportunity given to us as a regulator to make sure we have a third party investor to provide meters, which is called Meter Asset Providers. That allows customers now to have access to meters.”
Reasons behind the tariff review
According to Momoh, the Discos must recognize that they have to provide quality power, “they have to make sure customers are metered, we also have to make sure all the indicators are right, then we can say we have done the review that was lacking before. Mind you, the review was not done since 2015.”
Momoh underscored that the review was done to alert the Discos of their key responsibilities and the responsibility of customers and the expectation of customers.
“Then, the reaction that will follow is that with engaging the customers at the end of the day, maybe by next year, we will be able to now agree on what should be the appropriate cost,” he said.
In conclusion, Momoh said NERC supports every effort made to ensure that renewable energy forms a big part of the energy mix by 2030, contributing approximately 30 percent of the country’s power supply.