By Charles Nwaoguji
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the Federal Government and electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to adopt a strategic approach to the nation’s electricity pricing.
Muda Yusuf, Director-General, LCCI, told the Skybirdnews Group in Lagos that this would avoid “a pushback from the consumers”.
Skybirdnews Group report that the management of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had declared on Tuesday that there was no 50 per cent increase in electricity tariff as widely reported in some media.
Mr Michael Faloseyi, NERC’s Head of Public Affairs, said in a statement in Abuja, against the backdrop in some quarters that electricity tariff had been increased by 50 per cent.
Faloseyi said: “The commission hereby state unequivocally that no approval has been granted for 50 per cent tariff increase in the tariff order for Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs), which took effect from Jan.1, 2021.”
Yusuf said, while the commercial arguments for a hike might be strong, its implications, given the social context, must be reckoned with. He said the transition to the new pricing regime should be strategic and gradual to minimise shocks and the risk of “a pushback” by the consumers. Amuda said there was a need for the importance of reckoning with the economic, social, and political ramifications of such price reviews.
He said these contexts should have a moderating effect on price movement at this time, especially for a product of high social significance. Yusuf, however, reiterated the chamber’s support of a cost-reflective tariff for electricity.
“Context matters in policy conceptualisation and implementation, and we need to worry about social and economic contexts. “These contexts should have a moderating effect on price movement at this time, especially for a product of high social significance. “It is important to take these factors into account in order not to put the entire reform process at risk,” he said.