Electricity: Senate calls for abolishment of fixed charges by DISCOs

Senate chamber

Senate chamber

12 August 2015, Abuja – The Senate on Tuesday passed a resolution urging the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to immediately enforce the abolishment of fixed charges being collected from electricity consumers across the country.

The resolution followed a motion tagged, ” Unfair trade practices of Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) in Nigeria”, sponsored by Senator Sam Egwu and Senator David Umaru of Niger East Senatorial District.

Presenting the motion, Senator Egwu said the distribution companies since their takeoff have been ripping off consumers through fixed charges and bulk metering.

He expressed concern that with the present economic situation in the country, a lot of Nigerians would not be able to access electricity in view of the fixed charges.

Contributing to the debate, Senator Ben Murray – Bruce described the activities of the DISCOs as a fraud.

“The is the biggest fraud I have ever seen in my life. They charge exorbitant charges while providing poor power supply. The companies are extorting and exploiting the poor, ” he said.

Also speaking on it, Senator Danjuma Goje of Gombe Central called for a thorough investigation of the whole privatisation process.

In ruling on the motion, the Senators urged NERC to direct the DISCOs to discontinue the practice of compulsory bulk metering of villages and communities in the rural areas.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki said the expectation of Nigerians on the privatisation of the power sector has been deflated.

” We must look into it but it is clear that something is wrong. We will look at the possibility of conducting a public hearing on it, ” Saraki said.
*Ismail Mudashir – Daily Trust

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