Electricity Tariff Hike: We Won’t Abandon You, Senate Assures Nigerians

The Senate has assured Nigerians that they would not be abandoned in the light of the recent over 300 percent hike in electricity tariff for customers classified as band “A”.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Sen. Yemi Adaramodu (APC, Ekiti South), gave this assurance in a telephone chat on Thursday.

He explained that although Senators were currently on recess, they were monitoring developments across various sectors of the Nigerian economy, especially in the power sector.

Adaramodu assured Nigerians that he and his colleagues would not only assess the situation, but would take a position that would take their best interests as well as that of the nation at heart when plenary resumed.

The Senate Spokesman said, “The relevant Senate Committees on Power are studying the situation.

“You know, we are on recess now. When we resume, they will present their findings to Senate at plenary. We won’t abandon Nigerians.”

Adaramodu noted that the 10th Senate being a responsible and responsive one would not be indifferent on policies, especially those that have direct impact on the economy, security and welfare of Nigerians.

Recall, the Federal Government through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) recently approved an upward review of 340 percent in electricity tariff for customers classified as band “A”.

While explaining the implication of the new tariff regime, NERC’s Vice-Chairman, Musliu Oseni, said band A customers would begin to pay N225 kilowatt per hour up from the current N66.

According to him, those classified under band A were customers, who enjoyed at least 20 hours of electricity supply daily.

Consumers under this category represent 15 per cent of the 12 million electricity customers across Nigeria, they are mostly in the industrial and manufacturing sub-sectors of the economy.

The NERC Vice Chairman however explained that the review did not affect customers on the other bands.

The Senate had in February rejected an announcement by the Ministry of Power to approve the proposed hike in electricity tariff by Distribution companies (DISCOS).

The Senate also rejected plans to remove electricity subsidy so as not to increase the current economic burden on Nigerians.

It also mandated its Committee on Power to investigate the N2tn required for electricity subsidy payment, other debts owed in the sector, and the state of metering in the country.

The Senate resolution followed the consideration and approval of a motion moved by Senator Aminu Abbas (PDP, Adamawa Central), during plenary on the need to retain subsidy on electricity in the country for the foreseeable future.