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House of Reps Orders Suspension of New Electricity Tariff Implementation

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House of Reps Orders Suspension of New Electricity Tariff Implementation

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House of Representatives Orders Suspension of New Electricity Tariff Implementation

In a decisive move on Tuesday, the House of Representatives directed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to halt the implementation of the recently announced tariff increase. Additionally, the House called for the suspension of other conditions outlined in the newly issued review of the Multi-Year Tariff Order.

A special committee, comprising members from the Committees on Power, Commerce, Delegated Legislation, and National Planning, has been established to facilitate a comprehensive hearing on the pricing regulation within the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI). This hearing will involve key stakeholders, including the Minister of Power, Chairman and Commissioners of NERC, CEOs of all electricity utilities in Nigeria, as well as representatives from the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, along with leaders from chambers of commerce in Nigeria.

Further resolutions include the appointment of a respected former regulator as a technical consultant. This consultant will develop templates to assess the legality and reasonableness of NERC’s procedures in approving the tariff increase, as well as establish performance benchmarks for the Discos (Distribution Companies). Additionally, the consultant will collaborate with the special committee to draft a bill aimed at enhancing administrative procedures that ensure proper consultation and legislative review in tariff setting for electricity and other public services in Nigeria.

The decision to issue these resolutions followed the adoption of a motion of urgent importance initiated by Honorable Nkemkanma Kama. Kama emphasized the need to address critical issues surrounding the sudden hike in electricity prices, including concerns over due process, fairness, and the impact on consumers. The motion seeks to restore public trust, protect consumer rights, and ensure regulatory accountability within NESI.

Meanwhile, during a recent hearing at the Senate Committee on Power, Minister of Power Adebayo Adelabu defended the tariff hike, citing the inability of the Federal Government to sustain subsidies on power. Adelabu stressed the necessity for substantial investment in the sector, estimating an annual requirement of $10 billion over the next decade for infrastructure stability. He noted that the increase in electricity tariff for Band A customers has attracted more investors to the sector.

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