New electricity tariff implementation was delayed due to COVID-19
The party is over. From July this year, you shall pay more for every watt of electricity consumed. This is because, despite the humongous impact of the novel COVID-19 on businesses and household income, Nigeria is poised to implement the new electricity tariff by July.
Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, told an Investigative Public Hearing on Power Sector Recovery Plan and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic organised by the Senate Committee on Power on Tuesday that COVID-19 pandemic had affected the laid out plan for the repositioning of the electricity market towards financial sustainability under the Power Sector Recovery Programme.
According to him, the regulator, following the completion of public consultation on tariff review, has initially planned to conduct a tariff review in April 2020.
However, he said due to the COVID-19 outbreak and customer apathy, the proposed tariff review was delayed by three months.
He said: “The impact of this means the subsidy being incurred in maintaining the current tariff level had to be maintained till July 2020 when the proposed tariff review will be implemented.
“The challenge we are currently facing in the development and expansion of our transmission line is budget and release of Federal Government’s commitment in the estimated sum of N32 billion primarily for right of way acquisition and environmental impact mitigation.
“The fund should be provided for in the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Appropriation of the Ministry of Power.”
Mamman also said the COVID-19 pandemic had had a great economic impact not just on the health sector but on the overall economy.
He said, “Indeed, the prevalence of the pandemic has already reduced productivity due to the strategy adopted globally to contain it.
“This by default affects the purchasing power of consumers and the demand for electricity in general.
“The current situation in the Nigerian power sector is that a lot of capital investment is being made, most of which is dependent on donor funding, loans and budgetary allocations.
“For projects that we have already secured their funding, we do not expect any adverse effect.”