Panel to meet DisCos on electricity tariffs

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Talks between the Federal Government and Labour on electricity tariffs increase will resume next week, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), said on Thursday.

The seven-man technical sub-committee set up to review the increase in electricity tariffs will meet with power Distribution Companies (DisCos) and electricity consumers across the six geo-political zones.

The committee will look at the issue of gas pricing, which is being sold to DISCOS in dollars.

The committee is also expected to look at the issue of banding for electricity consumers in the second phase of its assignment.

It has two months to submit its report.

Talks were temporarily suspended because of the #ENDSARS protests.

Keyamo told our reporter: “We should start meeting by next week. The #EndSARS protests disturbed our meeting last week.”

A highly-placed source close to the committee said the next phase will include meetings with DisCos, consumers and other stakeholders.

Before the #ENDSARS protests commenced on October 10, the sub-committee submitted its first report to the larger house comprising the government team and organised labour.

After consideration of the interim report, which was submitted to the larger house on October 11, the committee was given two months to work around the issues surrounding the hike in electricity tariff.

The National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) will commence the distribution of free electricity meters to Nigerians in Kano, Kaduna, Eko and Ikeja DISCO franchise areas today. The scheme will be simultaneously launched.

Presidency said the locations where meters will be received include Bawo Road and environs in Kano metropolis (KEDCO), Governor Road/Tudun Wada in Kaduna (Kaduna Electric), Oshodi Business Unit in Ikeja (Ikeja Electric), and Yaba and Surulere (Eko DISCO).

The Presidency source added that key stakeholders to monitor the launch of the distribution include Kaduna, Kano and Lagos State government representatives, the Senate Committee and House Chair on Power as well as representatives of Organized Labour and Civil Society Organizations.

He said the NMMP is to roll out six million meters for all connections points on grid without meters over the next 18 to 24 months, estimating to impact 30 million consumers nationwide.

“Following Mr President’s directive on mass metering, the Central Bank of Nigeria, on October 18, approved guidelines for funding the mass metering programme, which entailed that all meters under the scheme would be locally sourced, creating thousands of manufacturing jobs through lead manufacturers such as MOMAS, MOJEC and others”, the source said.

He added that the launch of the NMMP would be part of a continuous effort where all DisCos would go from location to location across the country with their respective Meter Asset Providers to install meters for all Nigerians.

Mr. Laolu Akande, a Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, confirmed the story, but added that more details would emerge as the distribution progresses across the country.

He added that current efforts by the federal government on improving power supply and mass metering was in line with some of the agreements recently reached between the Federal Government and Organised Labour.

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