Senate Urges Fashola, DISCOs to Reverse Electricity Tariff  

By Augustine Osayande

The Senate on Tuesday unanimously urged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Ministry of Power and the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to suspend the implementation of increase in electricity tariff and revert to status-quo.

The Senate also directed its committee on power, employment, labour and productivity to call for a public hearing of stakeholders, Ministry of Power, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and Labour Union with the aim of re-examining the matter be able to arrive at logical conclusion such that Nigerian workers and the entire Nigerian masses are not short changed.

The decision of the upper chamber of National Assembly followed a motion of urgent public importance moved by Senator Suleiman Nazif (Bauchi North) and was seconded by Senator Mathew Urhoghide (Edo South)

Nazif in his submission observed that the due process in the extant laws for such increment was not followed in consonance with section 76 of the Power Sector Reform Act 2005.

He said the increase will have a multiplier effect on the Nigerian economy as manufacturing companies will have to pay more for power supply.

He observed that the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) have continued to exploit Nigerians by estimated billing system for the majority of consumers by deliberately refusing to make pre-paid meters available.

“That most consumers are not metered in accordance with the signed privatization Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of November 1, 2013 which stipulate that within 18 months of gestation period, all consumers are to be metered” Nazif said.

The Senator also noted that privatization in any part of the world is meant to inject fresh fund into the concerned sector and not to impose ridiculous tariff on the helpless masses

In his contribution the Deputy Senate President Senator Ike Ekweremadu said those they are representing are worried about the increase in the electricity tariff.

“All those we are representing are worried about the increase in the tariff, the increase is wicked” Ekweremadu said.

He urged the Senate to condemn the increase and call on the relevant government agencies responsible to revert back to the old tariff.

Senator Dino Melaye observed that there was no negotiation with the Labour Union and the Senate before the tariff was increased.

When the matter was put into voting by the Senate President Senator Bukola Saraki, it was unanimously supported by all the Senators present at the sitting without any dissenting voice.

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