Reps stop NERC’s plan to increase electricity tariff
• Want CBN to disclose information on foreign reserve accounts
THE House of Representatives has ordered the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to put on hold its plan to increase electricity tariff until the conclusion of the House’s investigation into operations of key players in the sector.
Its ad-hoc committee investigating the activities of Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) in Nigeria on infrastructure and billing in a letter dated December 15th and addressed to NERC reminding the Commission of previous communications through which it was agreed that further actions on the planned increase of electricity tariff be suspended.
The letter signed by Chairman of the committee, Hon. Babajimi Benson reads; “In paragraph 3 (three) of our letter dated 29th October, 2015 under the same subject heading, we requested you to suspend the implementation of any increase in electricity tariff until the committee concludes its investigations.”
“Further recall that at the joint investigative hearing with the Committee on Power, it was agreed that any tariff increase should be suspended until all stakeholders are carried along.
“Our attention has been drawn to various news items published in many newspapers of yesterday (Tuesday) 13 December, 2015 to the effect that your commission has concluded plans to announce the new electricity tariff to Nigerians this week.
“It is our opinion that any plan by your commission to announce new electricity tariff will run contrary to the spirit of the letter under reference and undermines the outcome of the investigative hearing by this Committee as it relates to infrastructure and billing by Electricity Distribution Companies.”
The committee further stated that “consequently, we hereby once again, DEMAND that you suspend the announcement and, or implementation of any increase in electricity tariff until above stated issues are concluded,” recalling that at the investigative hearing, it made an order that the Commission forward the list of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) indebted to the DISCOs.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to declare, without delay, the particulars of the accounts in which foreign reserve of the federation are held and any interest accruable to the foreign reserve accounts held on behalf of the federation in the last four years and thereafter periodically.
This came as the House, which yesterday picked holes in the management of the nation’s foreign reserve accounts by the apex bank, expressed concern over the interest accruing to the funds in the foreign reserve accounts.