17 December 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The House of Representatives yesterday halted the planned increase in electricity tariff by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, (NERC) pending the completion of its committee’s investigation of some stakeholders in the sector.
In a letter addressed to NERC, the Hon. Babajimi Benson headed House Ad-hoc Committee investigating the activities of Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) told NERC to abide by the directives in a previous letter it wrote urging it to suspend the review of electricity tariffs in the country.
The letter, signed by Benson, reads: “In paragraph 3 of our letter dated 29th October, 2015 under the same subject heading, we requested you to suspend the implementation of any increase in electricity tariff until the committee concludes its investigations.
“Further recall that at the joint investigative hearing with the Committee on Power, it was agreed that any tariff increase should be suspended until all stakeholders are carried along.
“Our attention has been drawn to various news items published in many newspapers of yesterday December 13, 2015 to the effect that your commission has concluded plans to announce new electricity tariff to Nigerians this week.
“It is our opinion that any plan by your commission to announce new electricity tariff will run contrary to the spirit of the letter under reference and undermine the outcome of the investigative hearing by this Committee as it relates to infrastructure and billing by Electricity Distribution Companies.
“We hereby once again, demand that you suspend the announcement and/or implementation of any increase in electricity tariff until (the) above stated issues are concluded.”
The Committee through the letter, reminded NERC of its request for the list of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) indebted to the DisCos, adding that the Commission should forwards the list of DisCos to it to enable it conclude its investigation.
The House of Representatives Committee’s position on the planned tariff hike stemmed from the revelation by the NERC chairman, Sam Amadi during a recent hearing that DisCos over-bill customers and charge flat rates for consumers without meters.