Senate seeks abolishment of fixed power charges
From AUGUSTINE OSAYANDE in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – NIGERIA ‘ s upper house of national assembly has urged the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to immediately enforce the abolishment of fixed charges collected from electricity consumers across the country.
The House also urged the commission to inquire into numerous complainsraised by consumers, in line with provision 74 subsection (1) b of the Power Sector Reform Act.
Legislators asked NERC to direct the electricity distribution companies(DISCOs) to discontinue the practice of compulsory bulk metering ofvillages and communities in the rural areas.The commission and the Consumer Protection Council have been urged to makeconsumers aware of the remedies available to them in the event ofinefficient services by the DISCOS.
The upper chamber directed the commission to make a regulation to mandate DISCOs to discontinue the practice of making consumers pay for their meters, electricity poles and transformers which by law are properties ofthe Distribution Companies.They took the decision following a motion move by Senator Sam Egwu,seconded by Dino Melaye.Egwu noted that the NERC was established to among others to license andregulate persons engaged in the generation, transmission, operation distribution and trading of electricity.
Egwu expresses concern that despite all efforts by the government, therehad been constant arbitrariness whereby electricity consumers were charged extortionate rates, fixed rate based on the use of the billed meters installed by the old Power Holding Company of Nigeria.He added that with the present economic situation in the country, many Nigerians would not be able to access one of the very basic needs of life.“Even Nigerians that have the prepaid meters are being billed a fixed rateof about N700 per month and we wonder what is the purpose of the fixedrate,” said Egwu.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, commended the legislators for theircontribution and promised that the Senate would help resolve the challenges.
– CAJ News
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