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Senate shelves recommendation seeking suspension of new electricity tariff

The senate has temporarily shelved a recommendation of its committee on power asking the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to suspend the implementation of the new tariff.

On Thursday, the upper legislative chamber received the report of the committee on power, which had probed the new electricity tariff.

On April 3, NERC approved an increase in the electricity tariff for customers in the Band A classification—ffrom N66 to N225 per kwh.

The tariff hike attracted public outcry and calls for its reversal.

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While presenting the report, Enyinnaya Abaribe, chairman of the committee, said the federal ministry of power and NERC should address “power scarcity”.

“That NERC suspends the ongoing implementation of the yearly tariff review to allow for robust consultation with customers,” the senator said.

“That NERC should hold the distributing companies (DisCos) accountable on key performance indicators, including customer sensitization.”

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Abaribe said the ministry of power should establish a consumer protection unit to safeguard the interests of electricity customers.

Contributing to the debate, Ali Ndume, chief whip of the senate, said the hike in electricity tariffs is against the constitution.

“I was surprised at the sudden hike in the electricity tariff, which is against the constitution,” Ndume said.

“When I heard about Band A, B, and C, it was discrimination. What the committee did is good.”

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On his part, Jimoh Ibrahim, senator representing Ondo south, said the senate is restricted from taking any resolution on the report because the case is in court.

However, the deputy senate president said consideration of the report should be suspended until advice is given by the legal department of the upper legislative chamber.

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