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Proposed tariff hike: Allow Nigerians ‘breathe’ Senate urges NERC, DisCos

Senate on Tuesday urged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and the 11 Electricity Distribution Companies to shelve their proposed tariff hike and “allow Nigerians to breathe.”

Senate also urged DisCos to henceforth allow Nigerian communities to recover their cost of buying electricity transformer before asking them to pay bills.

It also demanded the stoppage of estimated billing by urgently supplying all electricity consumers with prepaid meters at affordable rates across the country.

These resolutions followed the Senate’s consideration of a motion titled: “Need to halt proposed increase in Electricity Tariff by 11 successor Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).”

Senator Yunus Abiodun Akintunde (APC – Oyo Central) moved the motion at plenary.

After debating the motion, the Senate resolved to: “Call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to intervene and halt the proposed increase in electricity tariff by the Distribution Companies (Discos);

“Urge Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to decentralize proposed engagement with Stakeholders scheduled for Abuja to the Six Geopolitical Zones of the Federation for effective participation by all;

“Also urge NERC to thoroughly look into the rate review applications filed by the Discos, taking into consideration the interests of citizens, affordability, and the need for improved service delivery;

“Further urge NERC to explore alternative measures to address the financial challenges faced by the Discos, such as improving operational efficiency, reducing technical and commercial losses, and enhancing revenue collection mechanisms;

“Equally urge Discos to henceforth discontinue estimated billing and make available to all electricity consumers prepaid meters at affordable prices; and

“Mandate the Committee on Power (when constituted) to engage with the Federal Ministry of Power, NERC, and other stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the challenges facing the Nigerian electricity sector, including the need for comprehensive sector reforms.

“Call on DisCos to allow communities recover cost of purchasing transformers before asking them to pay bills.

“Call on DisCos and NERC to allow Nigerians to breathe.”

Contributing to the debate, Senators Ekpenyong Asuquo, Jimikuta David, Ipalibo Harry Banigo and Abba Moro supported the motion.

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