House of Representatives has directed the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to shelve the planned electricity tariff hike pending the completion of its ongoing investigation in the sector.
In a letter addressed to the NERC Chairman, the House Committee investigating the activities of Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) urged the power sector regulator to abide by its earlier
directives through a letter dated 29th October, 2015, on the need to halt the review of electricity tariffs in the country.
The House of Representatives Committee’s position on the planned tariff hike stemmed from the revelation by the NERC chairman, Sam Amadi during a recent hearing that DisCos over-bill customers and charge flat rates for consumers without meters.
The letter, signed by the committee chairman, Hon. Babajimi Benson insists that implementation of any increase in electricity tariff will jeopardize the committee’s ongoing investigations. The letter read in
parts: “It is our opinion that any plan by your commission to announce new electricity tariff will run contrary to the spirit of the letter under reference and undermine the outcome of the investigative hearing by this Committee as it relates to infrastructure and billing by Electricity Distribution Companies.
“We hereby once again, demand that you suspend the announcement and/or implementation of any increase in electricity tariff until (the) above stated issues are concluded,” the lawmakers urged, insisting that all stakeholders should be carried along on the proposed tariff review.
The Committee also reminded the commission of its earlier request for the list of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) indebted to the DisCos, adding that the Commission should forward the list to it to enable it conclude its investigation.
By Olisemeka Obeche