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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, says it has issued an order to power distribution companies to suspend the recent upward review of tariffs for 14 days in line with the agreement with the labour unions.

A meeting of government and labour on Sunday night resolved to suspend a planned nationwide strike after parties agreed on the suspension of recent hikes in power units. But the deal allowed petrol prices that were equally jerked up by the government around the same time to stand.

But the firms declined to immediately implement the reverse, saying on Monday that they were not ready to revert to old billing arrangements, Peoples Gazette reported.

James Momoh, NERC chief, said implementation of the suspension of power tariff hikes should have started on Monday, lasting until October 11.

Mr. Momoh said the existing regulatory framework required distributors to be fair to customers, while also guaranteeing a reasonable return on their investment in the sector. NERC, a government agency, could sanction firms that fail to operate within an agreed framework.

A spokesperson for Ikeji Electricity did not immediately return a request seeking comments about whether or not the company would comply with the suspension agreement this week.