17 December 2015, Abuja – The House of Representatives has ordered Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, to suspend any planned increase in electricity tariff until its inquiry into activities of operators in the sector is concluded.
The Ad-hoc committee investigating the activities of Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs, charged with the responsibility relating to infrastructure and billing of energy operators in a letter dated December 15 and addressed to NERC reminded the commission of previous communications in which it was agreed that further actions be suspended regarding review of electricity tariff in Nigeria.
The letter which was signed by its chairman, Rep Babajimi Benson referred NERC to all previous correspondences in respect of the above subject matter.
The letter read in part: “ In paragraph 3 (three) of our letter dated October 29, 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 (Tuesday) December 13, 2015 to the effect that your commission has concluded plans to announce the 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 undermines the outcome of the investigative hearing by this committee as it relates to infrastructure and billing by Electricity Distribution Companies.
“Consequently, we hereby once again, demand that you suspend the announcement and/or implementation of any increase in electricity tariff until above stated issues are concluded.”
The committee further recalled that at the investigative hearing, it made an order that the commission forward the list of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) indebted to the DISCOs.
It, therefore, urged NERC to also forward the list of Discos to it to enable it conclude its assignment.
Vanguard recalls that NERC chairman, Sam Amadi, at the investigative hearing alluded to the fact that distribution companies engage in over-billing and charging of flat rates due to the absence of effective metering system which he said would be addressed in the nearest future.