HomeNewsHouse of Reps Orders Power Minister To Halt New Tariffs

House of Reps Orders Power Minister To Halt New Tariffs

The House of Representatives has asked the Minister of Power to direct the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to suspend the implementation of higher electricity tariffs for Band A customers.

The lawmakers gave the directive during plenary on Tuesday, April 30.

Their resolution followed the adoption of a Motion of urgent public importance by Hon. Kama Nkemkanma (representing Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo Federal Constituency of Ebonyi State State on the Labour Party, LP).

NERC had in March hiked the electricity tariff for Band A customers by 230 percent, from ₦68 per kilowatt hour to ₦225/kWh.

Highlighting his intervention on his Facebook page, the lawmaker posted: “At plenary, I came under matters of urgent public importance to move a motion calling for the suspension of the hike in electricity tariff by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). I emphasized the need for a special Committee to probe the power sector.

“I also highlighted concerns that due process, fairness, and the impact on consumers were not followed in arriving at the increase.

“The Motion, as adopted, aims to restore public trust, protect consumer rights, and ensure regulatory accountability in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.”

Band A customers are those who receive an average daily supply of electricity for 20 hours or more and account for 15 percent of the 12 million electricity consumers in the nation.

A press statement released by the Vice Chairman of NERC, Musliu Oseni, stated that due to the failure to meet the necessary electricity supply hours, the customers had been recategorized and the commission had moved some Band A customers to Band B.

“We currently have 800 feeders that are categorised as Band A, but upon reviewing those feeders’ performance, the Commission has now reduced it to under 500. This means that 17% now qualify as Band A feeders. These feeders only service 15% of total electricity customers connected to the feeders.

“The commission has issued an order which is titled April supplementary order taking effect from today. The commission now reviewed further the application by the distribution companies and has decided that only 17% of feeders and less than 15% of customers will be affected by any rate increase that the commission will ever approve for the distribution company.

“The order takes effect from today (April 3) and in that order, the commission has approved a rate review of ₦225 per kilowatt hour for just under 15% of the customer population in NESI. That means that less than 15% of the customers will be affected,” Oseni said

However, while appearing before the Senate Committee on Power on a one-day investigative hearing on the need to halt the proposed increase in electricity tariff by the eleven electricity distribution companies on Monday, the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, said any customer on Band A, not currently enjoying 20-hour electricity, would not pay the new tariff.

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