Nigeria Witnesses Surge in Electricity Meter Prices: Consumers Express Outrage”
The Nigerian government has set the stage for discontent among consumers by unveiling significant price hikes for both single-phase and three-phase pre-paid electricity meters, effective September 6, 2023.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) made this announcement through an official order, NERC/2023/020, jointly signed by the Commission’s Chairman, Sanusi Garba, and Commissioner of Legal, Licensing, and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye.
Under the new pricing structure, a single-phase meter will bear a price tag of N81,975.16k, a substantial increase from its previous cost of N58,661.69k. Similarly, a three-phase meter’s cost has surged to N143,836.10k, up from the previous N109,684.36k.
These price hikes have not been well-received by power consumers, who are demanding answers about the relentless escalation of prices within Nigeria’s energy sector.
NERC has defended its decision by emphasizing the need for a fair and reasonable pricing system for meters. The objective is to ensure that both Meter Asset Providers (MAPs) and end-use customers share the cost burden equitably. This move aims to enable MAPs to recover legitimate expenses related to meter procurement and maintenance, while also ensuring a sustainable return on investment.
NERC has also expressed its commitment to assessing the affordability of meter services for consumers, with a focus on preventing excessive pricing that could strain end-users financially. The commission acknowledges the importance of closing the metering gap for end-use customers, as it plays a vital role in securing revenue for utility companies and offering transparency to consumers.
The Meter Asset Provider scheme is a crucial component of Nigeria’s electricity supply industry. However, fluctuations in macroeconomic indicators like inflation and foreign exchange rates have prompted a review of the regulated rates for MAP meters.
NERC relied on data from the Central Bank of Nigeria and the National Bureau of Statistics to guide the meter price revision process. It is essential to note that the approved meter prices do not include Value Added Tax but do encompass the revised sealing cost imposed by the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency.
Despite the meter price increase, NERC has maintained that the prices of single-phase and three-phase meters for MAPs, along with all associated installation and warranty costs, will remain within the bounds of regulated rates. All MAPs are required to adjust their prices to align with these approved rates.
The reaction from Nigerian consumers has been swift and vehement, with calls for the government to reconsider the impact of this decision on its citizens. With the rising costs of various energy-related products, including fuel and diesel, many consumers are feeling the financial strain.
As the situation unfolds, all eyes are on the Nigerian government to gauge its response to the growing discontent and demands of its people.