Human Rights

Lawmakers suspend electricity tariff increase

The Nigerian House of Representatives has directed the country’s Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, to immediately halt the planned increase in electricity tariff until relevant stakeholders are properly consulted for approval.

The Chairman House Committee on Power Mr. Magaji Dau Aliyu gave the directive at the National Assembly Abuja, during a meeting of the Committee with NERC and other stakeholders in the power sector on the publicized new electricity tariff.

Mr. Da’u Aliyu told the invited stakeholders notably National Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company, NBET, and Distribution Companies, Discos that the planned increase cannot hold waters until relevant stakeholders are consulted for its approval.

He also told these power sector players that the Committee would not allow them to charge Nigerian people different charges for electricity usage adding that the use of power for different purposes is the same in all parts of the country.

The Committee had insisted that the necessary steps were not taken by these government agencies before the announcement of the increment which is expected to take effect from January 1, 2020.

The Managing Director of NERC represented by General Manager Saifuddeen Mahmud told the lawmakers that the the increment was part the agency’s Multi-Year Tariff Order, MYTO, review, calculated based on prevailing economic realities.

NERC is expected to review the MYTO twice a year. We carried out this task based micro-economic indices in the country. Saifuddeen stressed.

He told the Committee that what the agency is doing is to determine the category of customers that will pay the new price of electricity based on the generation capacity of Distribution Companies

Saifuddeen explained that The current electricity price is N55 per kilowatt and the review is backed by law particularly the Power Sector Reform Act 2005.

Government is trying to gradually withdraw its subsidy in the power sector, initially beginning from January 2020 by was shifted to April.

Nonetheless, the House Committee chairman and other lawmakers said that the planned increment is untimely and should be halted as relevant stakeholders including the Senate and House Committees on Power should be properly consulted before the increment is announced.

NERC had publicly announced the planned increment in electricity tariff which is expected to take effect from April 1, 2020, and is already being charged by many distributions operating in various cities in the country.

Source: Voice of Nigeria