Electricity Tariff: “Let Nigerians breathe” – Senate to NERC, DisCos

Sharon EboesomiJuly 25, 20233 min

The motion sponsor called for a stop in estimated billing, and immediate supply of prepaid meters to all electricity consumers across the country, at affordable cost. 

 

 

 

The Senate has urged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) across the country, to halt the proposed increase in electricity tariff and “allow Nigerians to breathe.”

These resolutions followed the adoption of a motion titled: ‘Need to halt the proposed increase in Electricity Tariff by 11 successor Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos),’ sponsored by Senator Yunus Abiodun Akintunde (APC, Oyo Central) at Tuesday’s plenary.

Akintunde in his lead debate, stressed that DisCos has no justification to hike the price of natural gas as it will significantly affect the affordability of electricity, thereby making it difficult for the average Nigerians to afford it.

 

READ ALSO: Electricity Tariff Hike: Reps direct NERC to halt planned move

 

He noted that “the services of the 11 discos is currently bedeviled with total failure, occasioned by prolonged blackout due to lack of provision of relevant infrastructure like transformers, electricity poles, poor distribution network compounded with unjustifiable estimated billings, lack of supply of prepaid meters and reap off.

Despite repeated previous increases in the multiyear tariff with assurances of improved service delivery by the Discos, no commensurate improvement has been made by any of the 11 Discos in their respective service deliveries to justify the previous increment,” he added.

The lawmaker, therefore, called for a halt in estimated billing, and urgent supply of prepaid meters to all consumers across the country, at affordable cost.

“It is essential to address the issues of inadequate power supply, metering, and quality of service provided by the Discos. Customers should not bear the brunt of inefficiencies in the power sector.”

 

READ ALSO: “About 60 million people within the ECOWAS region live without electricity”

 

Senators who supported this motion are, Ekpenyong Asuquo, Jimikuta David, Ipalibo Harry Banigo, and Abba Moro.

In adopting the motion, the Senate also called on the Federal Government to intervene and halt the proposed increase in electricity tariff by the Distribution Companies (Discos), and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to decentralise proposed engagement with Stakeholders scheduled for Abuja to the six geopolitical zones of the Federation for effective participation by all.

It further urged NERC to thoroughly look into the rate review applications filed by the Discos, taking into consideration the interests of citizens, affordability, and the need for improved service delivery and to explore alternative measures to address the financial challenges faced by the Discos. These challenges it listed to include improving operational efficiency, reducing technical and commercial losses, and enhancing revenue collection mechanisms.

The lawmakers equally mandated its Senate Committee on Power (when constituted), to engage with the Federal Ministry of Power, NERC, and other stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the challenges facing the Nigerian electricity sector, including the need for comprehensive sector reforms.

Sharon Eboesomi

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