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Reps, NBA, students reject electricity tariff hike

The House of Representatives has urged the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to suspend the implementation of the new tariff. The call was a sequel…

The House of Representatives has urged the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to suspend the implementation of the new tariff.

The call was a sequel to the adoption of a motion by Rep. Nkemkanma Kama (LP-Ebonyi) at plenary on Tuesday.

This is coming as strong reactions have trailed comments by the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, that there would be a total blackout in the country in the next three months if the proposed electricity tariff hike is not implemented.

It would be recalled that NERC had one April 3, approved an increase in electricity tariff for customers who enjoyed 20 hours of electricity daily classified as Band A users.

Moving the motion, Kama said that facts presented showed that the approval granted by NERC resulted in a staggering 300 per cent rise for certain consumers.

The lawmaker alleged failure of due process in approving the tariff increase, which raised concerns over discriminatory practices, and  disputed nature of government subsidies to Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs).

Sequel to the adoption of the motion, the house resolved to set up a special committee made up of the Committees on Power, Commerce and National Planning to convene a public hearing on price regulation.

In his ruling, the Speaker of the House, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas said that the relevant committees should ensure compliance.

Meanwhile, strong reactions have trailed comments by the minister of power that there would be total blackout in the country in the next three months if the proposed electricity tariff hike is not implemented.

Adelabu said this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Power, which is investigating electricity tariff hike by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

This followed the rejection of the new tariff regime by the Senate committee, led by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.

Nigerians on social media have expressed anger with the minister’s comments.

Writing via Facebook, Abdulrahman Zubairu said: “Tinubu and his ministers are just a disappointment. We have really made a costly mistake in his election. I sincerely hope God give us the wisdom to make amends in the near future.”

Oyeyemi Olugbami: “And this one wants to govern my state! Why must the price of everything increase under this government? No mercy for the masses at all!!”

While speaking yesterday, human Rights lawyer, Femi Falana, slammed the minister of power over failure to deliver constant supply of electricity despite increasing tariff for Nigerians using Band A.

Falana said this while appearing as a guest on a Channels TV programme.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja branch has given the federal government (FG) a seven-day ultimatum to stop electricity tariff hike or risk a law suit.

The Chairman NBA Ikejà branch, Olawumi Oluwaseyi, gave the warning Tuesday while addressing a press conference at the NBA bar centre, Ikeja.

He said, “It is the position of NBA Ikeja branch that the NERC order so made in respect of the electricity tariff hike is anti-people. It smacks of the policy of a government (acting through its agency) that has lost touch with the daily realities of its average citizens.”

Similarly, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has threatened to stage a nationwide protest to demand for the removal of government officials they deemed responsible for the lingering fuel scarcity and power crisis in Nigeria.

NAN’s Senate President, Babatunde Akinteye, in a statement on Tuesday lamented that fuel shortage and power crisis is causing untold hardship to the students.

In a related development, the Nasarawa State House of Assembly has issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to restore normal electricity supply to communities across the 13 local government areas of the state or face consequences.

During the House proceedings in Lafia, on Tuesday, Speaker Mr. Danladi Jatau called upon AEDC and Nasarawa Electricity Power Agency (NAePA) representatives to address the power blackout and excessive billing issues affecting the state.

 

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