Senators Urges Halt on Tarrif…
Senators, in a unified voice, urged the federal government to immediately halt the planned increase in electricity tariffs, citing the need to alleviate the burden on the impoverished population.
The call came as part of their resolution following a motion led by Sen. Akintunde Yunus Abiodun (Oyo Central) and co-sponsored by Sen. Asuquo Ekpenyong (Cross River South) and Sen. Abbas Aminu Iya (Adamawa Central).
The motion, titled “Need to Halt the Proposed Increase in Electricity Tariff by Eleven Successor Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos),” emphasized the hardships Nigerians were already facing due to the removal of fuel subsidies. The Senate underscored that despite this situation, the major component for generating power, the price of gas, had not seen an increase.
Henceforth, the Senate decided that town halls on electricity matters should be conducted at the headquarters of the distribution companies. Additionally, communities that invested in transformers or electrical appliances were to be duly compensated.
Part of the Senate’s resolution reads, “The Senate accordingly resolves to call on the federal government of Nigeria to intervene and halt the proposed increase in electricity tariffs by the Distribution Companies (Discos).”
“We urge the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to decentralize the proposed engagement with stakeholders, originally scheduled for Abuja, to the six geopolitical zones of the Federation to ensure the participation of all stakeholders effectively.”
“We also call on NERC to carefully examine the rate review applications submitted by the Discos, taking into consideration the interests of citizens, affordability, and the need for improved service delivery.”
“Furthermore, we encourage NERC to explore alternative measures to address the financial challenges faced by the Discos, such as enhancing operational efficiency, reducing technical and commercial losses, and improving revenue collection mechanisms.”
“We equally urge the Discos to discontinue the practice of estimated billing and make prepaid meters available to all electricity consumers at affordable prices.”
“The Committee on Power, once constituted, is hereby mandated to engage with the Federal Ministry of Power, NERC, and other stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the challenges facing the Nigerian electricity sector, which should include the need for comprehensive sector reforms.”
“In conclusion, the Senate also strongly urges the executive to prioritize the welfare of the underprivileged by taking actions to alleviate their burden.”
This resolution demonstrates the Senate’s commitment to address the concerns surrounding the proposed electricity tariff increase and its impact on the Nigerian populace, especially the less privileged. The government, regulatory bodies, and distribution companies are called upon to collaborate effectively to find viable and sustainable solutions to the challenges faced by the electricity sector.