The senate on Tuesday asked the ministry of power, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), and electricity distribution companies to immediately suspend the increase in electricity tariff by 40 percent. Last week, there were protests across the country against the increase in electricity tariff, which kicked in on February 1.
Acting on the call of Nigerians for a reversal of the new electricity tariff regime, Suleiman Nafiz, a senator who represents Bauchi north, urged the senate to immediately intervene in the situation. He also asked the senate to probe how funds allotted to electricity companies had been spent, and to look into factors hindering the optimal functioning of the power sector.
Making his contribution, Dino Melaye, a senator from Kogi west, observed that the latest increase in electricity tariff was the fourth since the privatisation of power. “We ask for an immediate reversal of the 40 percent increase in electricity tariff because it is arbitrary,” he said.
Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, also ventilated his opinion against the new tariff regime. “As a country on life support, we do not need to add to the suffering of the people,” he said. “For me this tariff increase is ultra-wicked and unconscionable. We must reverse it immediately.”
The senate, on a prayer by Abiodun Olujimi, thereafter, asked NERC and the ministry of power to immediately suspend the implementation of the 40 percent increase in electricity tariff. After the motion had been taken, the upper legislative chamber adjourned to February 23 to give its sub committees on appropriation time to tidy up the 2016 budget.
Danjuma Goje, chairman of the senate committee on appropriation, had asked the senate for more time to submit his report on the budget.