Wednesday, 7 October 2015

House of Reps ask NERC to halt plans of increasing electricity tariff.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday directed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and distribution companies in the country to halt any plan to further increase electricity tariff.

It also summoned NERC and all ‘Discos’ operating in the country to appear before the House to explain why an upward review of tariff was necessary at a time that consumers complained of poor supply of electricity.

In a resolution passed unanimously during its plenary in Abuja, the House further asked NERC and distribution companies to “immediately begin the provision and installation of pre-paid metres to every consumer nationwide.”

The House passed the resolution after debating a motion moved by a member from Plateau State, Mr. Solomon Baren.

Baren said handlers of the power sector and the distribution companies were taking Nigerians for a ride by contemplating another tariff hike when the reality on the ground was that electricity supply had not improved.  Continue........

Part of the motion read, “The House further notes that power generation and distribution in Nigeria is in a state of comatose, leading to the closing down of many industries, thereby creating unemployment in our dear country and hampering the development of Small and Medium Enterprises.

“That this House indeed resolved against further collection of flat rates or service fees by Discos, which were termed illegal and not in tandem with best practices.

“That NERC had directed Discos to comply with the above resolve.

“That these Discos are about devising another way of collecting the money under another guise.”

The House noted that about two years after the distribution companies took over power distribution in the country, they had not added any infrastructure to the sector to warrant frequent tariff hikes.

The resolution observed, “that in many parts of the world, electricity tariffs are reducing due to fallen oil prices as much of electricity is generated by gas, which is a component of crude.

“That if not checked, these unwholesome practices will continue to the detriment of Nigerian masses, which will also slow down the development of SMES that spurs industrial development.”

Members said they were alarmed over recent complaints by many electricity consumers that tariff was higher than their housing rents.


Punch

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