The House of Representatives has asked President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to suspend the proposed increase in electricity tariff for June.
This formed part of the resolutions by the lawmakers during Thursday’s plenary in the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
They stressed that it was important to direct the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to rescind its decision on the proposed increment in view of the hard times Nigerians were going through.
Similarly, the lawmakers mandated the House Committees on Power, Poverty Alleviation, as well as Labour, Employment, and Productivity to ensure compliance with the directive.
A member representing Abak Federal Constituency, Hon. Aniekan Umanah, had raised a motion seeking that the nation’s electricity regulator should suspend the proposed increase in electricity tariff.
He wondered why there would be an increase in electricity tariff at a time when Nigerians were going through hard times and governments all over the world were providing means to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the motion, the Electric Power Sector Act of 2005 established the NERC with a mandate to license Distribution Companies (DISCOs), determine operating codes and standards, establish customer rights and obligations, as well as set cost-reflective industry tariff.
The lawmaker stated that the Act prescribed its funding from 15 per cent of electricity charges paid by consumers to distribution companies.
He decried that NERC, working with the distribution companies, had increased the tariff five times since 2015, the latest being on January 1, 2021.