The House of Representatives during its plenary on Thursday May 20th, 2021 has urged the Federal Government to ask the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to suspend its proposed increase in electricity tariff.
Hon. Aniekan Umanah, who moved the motion recalled that the Electric Power Sector Act of 2005 established the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission with a mandate to license Distribution Companies (DISCOs), determine operating codes and standards, establish customer rights and obligations and set cost-reflective industry tariff.
He noted that Disco has increase electricity tariff for the fifth time since 2015 and despite those increases, Nigerians have not enjoyed significant improvement in power generation, instead they daily struggle with epileptic services from the DISCOs and unilateral exploitation in the name of estimated billing arising from non- metering of over 50% of consumers.
The Hon. further said the poor services by the DISCOs have impacted negatively on the Socio-Economic growth of the Country as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Report of 2020 on Nigeria indicated that the manufacturing sector lost over $200 billion to inadequate power supply while a whopping $21billion was said to have been spent by Nigerians on generating sets within the period under review.
The House is therefore concerned that the current economic recession made worse by hyperinflation has resulted in skyrocketing prices of foodstuffs, while the increase in prices of Petroleum Products has also triggered the further increase in transport costs and rents with unemployment rates at a frightening 33.3% while the spending power of an average Nigerian has drastically reduced, any further hike in electricity tariff at this time will amount to lack of empathy and height of insensitivity.
Also Concerned that at a time Governments all over the world are adopting measures to cushion the devastating effects of the dreaded COVID–19 pandemic on their citizens by providing a wide range of palliatives, the idea of a further increase in electricity tariff after that of 1 January 2021, in a Country where 2/3 of the 200million population is struggling with the crippling effects of the pandemic is not acceptable.
The House therefore urged the Federal Government to ask Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to suspend its proposed increment.
For: Head of press
Office of the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters
Friday, May 21, 2021