The House of Representatives Thursday asked the federal government to suspend the planned increment in the tariff of electricity by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
The decision was taken after the adoption of a motion sponsored by the deputy minority leader, Hon. Aliyu Sani Madaki (NNPP, Kano).
Presenting the motion at the plenary presided over by the deputy speaker, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, Madaki informed that recently, Distribution Companies (DISCOS) alerted customers of a planned electricity tariff hike hinged on the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO).
He submitted that “The House also notes that the circular issued by DISCOS stated that effective July 1, 2023, there would be an upward review of the electricity tariff influenced by fluctuating rates.
“The House is aware that under the MYTO, 2022 guidelines, the previous exchange rate of N 441/$1 may be revised to approximately N750/$1 which would have an impact on the tariffs associated with electricity consumption.
“The House is also aware that under the planned hike, consumers within ‘B’ and ‘C’ with supply hours ranging from 12–16 hours per day will pay N100 per KWh, while Bands ‘A’ with 20 hours and above and ‘B’ with 16–20 hours, would experience comparatively higher tariffs, that is, for customers with a prepaid metre, whereas, for those on post-rand (estimated) billing, a significant increment is expected to be higher.
“The House is concerned about the widespread apprehension in the country over the planned introduction of a new electricity tariff regime by the Distribution Companies (DISCOS).
“The House is also concerned that the recent statement by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) directing its Consumers to disregard the earlier notice of the increase in the electricity tariffs hike is confusing as members of the public are confused as to what to believe.
“The House is further concerned that the proposed increase is coming despite the inability of the operators to meet the threshold of supplying at least 5,000 megawatts per year after signing the contract with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)”
Continuing, Madaki said “The House believes that it is most inappropriate and insensitive to come up with a price increase of such magnitude at this time when many Nigerians are yet to come to terms with the increase in petrol prices.
“The House is cognizant that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), in Section 16 (2b), has provided that the material resources of the nation be harnessed and distributed as best as possible to serve the common good.
“The House is worried that at this point in time, the proposed increment of electricity tariff by the DISCOs is not in the best interest of the average Nigerian citizen, nor is it for the common good of the citizenry.
“The House is also worried that the proposed increment is an exploitation of the common citizen, which is not in line with Section 17 (2d) of the 1999 Constitution which states that the “exploitation of human resources in any form whatsoever for reasons other than the good of community should be prevented”.
The motion was adopted and the House committee on power was mandated to interface with NERC when constituted to work out an acceptable formula.
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