Parliamentary Oversight In The Power Sector
Sir: A new day has dawned for millions of electricity consumers as the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has directed Power Generation and Distribution Companies (GENCOs and DISCOs) to abolish the age long practices of fixed electricity charges and bulk billing of residential communities.
Based on the Senate’s recent investigation into the power sector, NERC had through an official communication from its Chairman and Chief Executive, Dr. Sam Amadi, on Monday August 17, 2015 said: ‘Consumers who do not receive power supply will henceforth be exempted from paying fixed charges’ as ‘power distribution companies have come into consensus to review fixed charge policy’.
Although Amadi argued that the billing method was a standard global practice, he agreed with the peculiarities of the Nigeria situation owing to the problem of poor electricity generation capacity – that often leads to consumers paying fixed charges for epileptic or absolutely no power supply.
Moving forward, NERC’s directive will put an end to the unfair profiteering of the power sector at the expense of its customers. As power remains a major determinant for economic growth, if Nigeria is to experience sustained economic growth, it needs to take more proactive steps to ensure that the power sector receives critical and effective attention.
As an astute student of legislative politics, I believe that for once, Nigerians must commend the role played by the occupiers of the Red Chambers of the National Assembly.
In the past, Nigeria’s legislature has acted in a manner removed from Nigerians. As it stands, with Dr. Saraki at the helm of its affairs, the Upper Legislative Chamber seems to now understand how average Nigerians suffer at the mercy of unfair business practices and regulations. •‘Demola Adeyeye, @AAAdeyeye