By G9ija

Ikeja Electric on Thursday said it has suspended the new electricity tariff for the next two weeks in compliance with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) directive.

“Dear Esteemed customers, this is to inform you that we have fully complied with the Order from the NERC to suspend the new Service Reflective Tariff (SRT) for the next two weeks,” Ikeja Electric said in its statement.

“Within this period, the tariffs for all customers shall be based on rates applicable as at 31 August 2020,” it added.

This suspension of tariff increment came days after NERC ordered the suspension of the new tariffs following a protest from labour unions.

The increment was part of the reasons labour unions threatened to hold a nationwide strike last Monday.

However, the strike was shelved after Nigerian Government reached a compromise with the labour unions. The government ordered that the increase in tariffs be suspended for two weeks when investigations into what the Labour Minister, Chris Ngige, has described as conflicting field reports justifying the hike in electricity tariff, is completed.

Although, Nigeria’s information minister Lai Mohammed in September, just days after the increment was implemented, said only customers with a guaranteed minimum of 12 hours of electricity can have their electricity tariffs adjusted.

Mohammed said the increase in electricity tariffs will be on the basis of guaranteed improvement in service.

The minister said the arrangement was to protect the large majority of Nigerians who cannot afford to pay cost-reflective tariffs from arising from the increases.

He said that the government has been supporting the industry due to the problems with the the largely-privatised electricity industry.

“To keep the industry going, the government has so far spent almost N1.7 trillion, especially by way of supplementing tariffs shortfalls.”