Hold on The Implementation Of The New Electricity Tariff, Reps Tells NERC

The House of Representatives has called on the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to hold on, the implementation of the new electricity tariff.

This call was made last Tuesday during a plenary session ,where the lower chamber agreed upon the house resolution on the new tariff hiked issue.

According to them ,the resolution followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by kama Nkemkanma ( LP – Ebonyi)

Kama said the legislative motion on increase in electricity tariff seeks to address key issues surrounding the sudden hike in electricity prices in Nigeria.

“It highlights concerns over due process, fairness, and the impact on consumers. The motion aims to restore public trust, protect consumer rights, and ensure regulatory accountability in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

“The facts presented include the alarming tariff increase announced by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on April 1, 2023, resulting in a staggering 300% rise for certain consumers.
However, what’s more concerning are the reports indicating discrepancies in customer categorisation and widespread complaints regarding inadequate service despite increased charges.

“This situation has not just sparked national anxiety, but it also threatens regulatory certainty and investor confidence in the sector, demanding immediate attention.”

Kama said the motion argues for legislative intervention, underlining the constitutional and moral obligations to address the crisis and alleviate the burden on Nigerian citizens.

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“It places a strong emphasis on the legislative oversight role over NERC and the electricity utilities, stressing the need for fair and just pricing and consultation with stakeholders in tariff determination processes. This is not just a responsibility, but a duty we owe to our constituents.

“Key issues highlighted include the failure of due process in approving the tariff increase, concerns over discriminatory practices, and the disputed nature of government subsidies to electricity distribution companies (DISCOs).

“The motion proposes resolutions to suspend the recent tariff increases, establish a special committee for hearings involving relevant stakeholders, appoint a technical consultant to assess the legality and reasonableness of NERC’s procedures, and draft a bill to improve regulatory processes in tariff setting.

“Overall, this motion underscores the importance of legislative action to address the challenges facing the electricity sector and ensure fair treatment of consumers while promoting transparency and accountability in regulatory decision-making.”

Earlier, the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has warned that there will be a total blackout in Nigeria in the next three months, if the proposed electricity tariff hike is not implemented.
The minister stated this last Monday 29th April 2024 , in Abuja when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Power at an investigative hearing over the recent electricity tariff hike by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

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This is after the Senate committee, led by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, rejected the new tariff regime.

Adelabu warned that the entire sector would be grounded if the Commission fails to increase the tariff.

Adelabu said, “The entire sector will be grounded if we don’t increase the tariff. With what we have now in the next three months, the entire country will be in darkness if we don’t increase tariffs.

“The increment will catapult us to the next level. We are also Nigerians, we are also feeling the impact.”

He said $10 billion yearly for the next ten years is needed to revive the nation’s power sector and nip in the bud the challenges bedevilling it.

“For this sector to be revived, the government needs to spend nothing less than 10 billion dollars annually in the next 10 years.

“This is because of the infrastructure requirement for the stability of the sector. But the government cannot afford that. And so we must make this sector attractive to investors and to lenders.

“So, for us to attract investors and investment, we must make the sector attractive, and the only way it can be made attractive is that there must be commercial pricing.

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“If the value is still at N66 and the government is not paying subsidy, the investors will not come. But now that we have increased the tariff for A Band, there are interests being shown by investors,”

The minister appealed to lawmakers to support the process of paying the debt owed to operators across the value chain of generation, transmission, and distribution.

However, the Senate Committee on Power, led by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, expressed concerns over the suffering of Nigerians, and asked the minister and other key players in the sector to explore other options.

By Sophina Ovuike, Abuja