The Federal Government and the Organised Labour have reached an agreement for the distribution of one million electricity meters to Nigerians by December 2020.
The government also suspended the implementation of the new electricity tariffs for another week.
Recall that the government had on September 28 postponed the take-off date of the tariffs by two weeks after it held a meeting with the organised labour, which was opposed to the increase in fuel and electricity prices.
At a meeting held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Sunday, the FG team led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), adopted the resolutions of the seven-man Technical Sub-committee on the electricity tariffs hike, reached on October 8 and agreed on a work plan for the implementation.
The distribution is expected to commence on Monday, October 12, in furtherance of the Acceleration of National Mass Metering Programme. The programme is expected to distribute a total of 6 million meters to Nigerians free of charge based on the funding by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The parties agreed to reduce the tariffs by 10 percent for band A, 10.5 percent for band B and 31 per cent for band C.
“The immediate relief would be provided to citizens for a 2 to 3-month period (not later than 31st of December, 2020), being the timeline for the conclusion of an extended scope of work for the Technical Committee,” the resolution noted.
“Leveraging on the VAT from NESI, the increases experienced by customers due to the transition to the Service Based Tariff will be reduced as follows: Band A – 10% reduction, Band B – 10.5% reduction and Band C- 31% reduction.
“For the distribution of the first one million meters, the Ministry of Power is to liaise with CBN, NERC, and NEMSA, to start work by 12th October, 2020 to accelerate the roll out of meters with a target of December 2020.
“The meeting agreed that it will towards bridging the metering gap. The Federal Government committed to provide 6 million meters.
“NERC is expected to compel the DisCos to meet the metering needs of the customers.”
The organised labour agreed to work with government to improve and ramp up local production capacity for meters.
The parties tasked the electricity regulatory company to ensure that the personnel costs of electricity workers are placed on the first-line charge on the Primary Collection Account. They agreed that the process would commence on Monday, October 12, 2020.
The government also agreed that NERC would be mandated to enforce refund for any overbilling by the distribution companies within October 2020.
Before the meeting was adjourned till October 25, the ad hoc committee was directed to work from October 12 to ensure that all outstanding issues are implemented.
The resolution was signed by NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, and TUC President, Quadri Olaleye, on behalf of organised labour. Mustapha and Ngige signed on behalf of the Federal Government.