Reps demand halt of electricity tariff hike

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The House of Representatives has urged the federal government to direct the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to suspend the proposed increase in electricity tariff billed to commence in June.

The House also mandated its Committees on Power, Poverty Alleviation and Labour, Employment and Productivity to ensure compliance.

This is just as the lawmakers kicked against the transfer of electricity consumption liabilities from old to new residential or industrial customers.

The House in separate motions urged NERC to halt the tariff hike and halt the transfer of liabilities.

A motion by the member representing Abak, Etim Ekpo and Ika Federal Constituency of Akwa Ibom State Aniekan Umanah noted that despite tariff juke increases in recent times, Nigerians have not enjoyed significant improvement in power supply.

“Poor services by the DISCOs, have impacted negatively on the socio-economic growth of the country as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Report of 2020 on Nigeria indicated that the manufacturing sector lost over $200 billion to inadequate power supply while a whopping $21 billion was said to have been spent by Nigerians on generating sets within the period under review,” Umanah said.

According to the lawmaker, the Nigerian masses have gone through so much hardship in recent times, arising from acts of terrorism, banditry, kidnappings, farmers and herdsmen’s crisis with its toll on agricultural activities, displacement from ancestral homes, loss of loved ones, starvation arising from the inability to return to daily occupation and loss of personal properties running into several millions of naira.

Also Read: Nigeria to begin distribution of electricity prepaid metres

The House in another motion moved by the member representing Surulere II federal constituency of Lagos State, Abiodun Soyinka observed the constant complaints by electricity consumers on the poor services provided by Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) which are also in the habit of transferring outstanding debts of the old customer to new users.

“The Distribution Companies, which are responsible for the collection of payments for services rendered to consumers, allow unpaid bills to accumulate, do not follow the laid down principles and guidelines by Regulatory Authorities towards unpaid bills and disconnection of non-paying customers,” Soyinka said.

The House presided over by Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, resolved after a proposed amendment by Deputy Minority Leader, Rep. Toby Okechukwu (Enugu-PDP) to summon the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC.

The House also mandated the Committee on Power to engage the Distribution Companies and other relevant Regulatory Agencies to find a lasting solution and report to it within four weeks.

The Green Chamber, also mandated its Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.


Zainab Sa’id

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