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Don’t pay new tariff without 20 hours electricity – Minister

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The minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has called on Nigerians not to pay the new electricity tariff if they don’t have a 20-hour electricity supply.

According to the minister, any customer who is not currently enjoying a 20-hour electricity bill would not pay the new tariff.

The minister also said that the federal government would pay the sum of N2.9 trillion to subsidise electricity this year if the tariff was not reviewed.

The minister stated this on Monday while appearing before the Senate Committee on Power, for a one-day investigative hearing on the need to halt the proposed increase in electricity tariff by 11 successor electricity distribution companies amid the biting economic situation in Nigeria.

According to him, the government had introduced a new policy to save the drowning sector, assuring Nigerians that the pains were temporary.

The clarification comes as electricity consumers grapple with the recent increase in tariffs by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

He also explained that the government was concerned, and had introduced the new policy to rescue the sector.

During the session, chairman of the committee, Senator Eyinnnaya Abaribe raised the question of how customers were migrated from the previous customer classes of Residential (R1, R2, R3), Commercial (C1, C2) and Demand (D1, D2), to different bands.

Abaribe requested to know if the band classification was under the provisions of the law.

He also raised more questions on how the parameters differentiate between regions and areas, citing a portion of the act that highlighted the need for non-discriminatory distribution.

The development comes on the heels of the recent increase in electricity tariffs for consumers in the Band A category by NERC.

The commission had increased the tariff paid by Band A customers from N68/KWh to N225/kWh.

Band A customers receive 20-24 hours of electricity supply daily. Subscribers under Band B enjoy 16 to 20 hours of power supply, while those in Band C receive 12 to 16 hours daily.

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