Suspend Electricity Tariff Hike Immediately, Senate Orders NERC

Following the increase in electricity tariff by 40% which kicked off on February 1 2016, the Nigerian Senate, on Tuesday, directed the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the ministry of power and electricity distribution companies to immediately suspend the increase.

A motion by Suleiman Nafiz, a senator who represents Bauchi north senatorial district, urged the Senate to probe how funds given to electricity companies had been spent.

Senator Nafiz said, “The Distribution Companies (DISCOS) have continued to exploit Nigerians by estimated billing system and deliberately refusing to make pre-paid meters available.

“This increase will pave way for additional heavy burden on Nigerians and coupled with the challenges of the economy, it will affect the purchasing power of Nigerian workers.”

Deputy senate president Ike Ekweremadu, also expressed his opinion against the new tariff regime.

He said, “As a country on life support, we do not need to add to the suffering of the people. For me this tariff increase is ultra-wicked and unconscionable. We must reverse it immediately.”

In his contribution, Dino Melaye, a senator from Kogi west noted that the latest increase in electricity tariff was the fourth since the privatisation of power.

He therefore asked for an immediate reversal of the 40 percent increase in electricity tariff.

“We ask for an immediate reversal of the 40 percent increase in electricity tariff because it is arbitrary,” he said.

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