The House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of Power and the Chairman of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof. Barth Nnaji, Mr Sam Amadi rspectively to appear before it next week to explain the rationale behind the proposed hike in electricity tariff.
NERC, the regulatory authority in charge of the electricity subsector had approved a new regime of tariff under the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) with effect from June.
However, in a resolution passed yesterday after a heated debate on the motion sponsored by Yacoob Balogun, (ACN/ Lagos), who called for immediate suspension of the scheme, the House resolved to invite the authorities to throw more light on the matter.
Balogun who expressed concern over public outcry, stressed the need for the intervention of the House in investigating the propriety of the ministry's plan to increase electricity tariffs from June 1.
The lawmaker argued that an increase in electricity tariff would be tantamount to “making Nigerians pay more for a service they do not enjoy.”
He said: “Power generation and distribution has been very erratic and efforts to put it right have failed in the past and despite the declaration of emergency in the sector, regular power supply remains a mirage to Nigerians.”
Balogun decried the delay in the distribution of the pre-paid meters to millions of households across the country, adding that the systemic failure in the power sector has inflicted undue hardship on electricity consumers.
In line with the resolution, NERC will appear before the House committee on power headed by Patrick Ikhariale, within a week. While ruling, on the motion, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal urged the lawmakers to give room for dialogue rather than calling for suspension of the scheme.
He said the move by the House to suspend the planned hike should be taken as a last resort.
He however directed Minister of Power the power minister and NERC to appear before the committee to give detailed explanation as to what informed the planned hike.
He also directed the chairman of the Committee on Power to brief the entire House on outcomes of the interface with NERC.