From Jonas Ezieke, Abuja
The House of Representatives on Tuesday asked the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission NERC to immediately halt the planned increase in electricity tarrif until relevant stakeholders are properly consulted for approval.
The Chairman House Committee on Power Hon. Magaji Dau Aliyu gave the directive at a meeting of the Committee with NERC and other stakeholders in the power sector on the publicized new electricity
tariff at the National Assembly
He told the invited stakeholders notably NERC, NBET, MELMCO 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 useage 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 increament which is expected to take effect from January 1, 2020.
The Managing Director of NERC represented by a General manager Shaffufeen Mahmood had told the lawmkers that increament was calculated based on prevailing economic realities.
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 certain indeces such as exchange rate and generation capacity of distribution compnies
He also hinted that current electricity price is N55 per kilowatt and the review is backed by law particularly the Power Sector Reform Act 2005. He said it is done twice a year by the agency to reflect changes in the economic fabrics of the nation.
Nontheless, the House Committee helsman and other lawmakers said that the planned increament is untimely and should be halted as relevant stakeholders including the Senate and House Committees on Power should be properly consulted before the increament is announced
Our reporter recalls that NERC had publicly announced the planned increament in electricity tarrif which is expected to take effect from April 1 2020 and is already being charged by many distribution operating in various cities in the country.
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