Osinbajo, NASS Leaders Dialogue on Electricity Tariff
Nigeria’s Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday met with the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, over the issue of increase in electricity tariff in Nigeria with NASS kicking against the planned tariff increase.
The leadership of the National Assembly met with chief executives of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, and the electricity distribution companies, Discos, on Monday and insisted that the July 1 planned increase in tariff be put off.
Lawan, who spoke with the media after the meeting with the vice president, said that the timing of the planned increase was not right.
He said, “We believe that it is not the right time to increase the tariffs in the electricity today.
“Nigerians have a lot of challenges to bear because of Covid-19 pandemic, and the situation requires that we should do everything possible to make life easy for our citizens and of course, government is doing a lot in this respect.”
While urging the Discos to continue to engage with consumers to find a better cost reflective tariff, Lawan said that steps must be taken to ensure that consumers are properly metered.
“Otherwise you still go to guessing what consumers are consuming; that is to say let the billing be very scientifically based; it has to be based on what you actually consume,”Senator Lawan insisted.
He said that the discussion with the vice president was to ensure that some measures and steps are put in place before the new tariff is announced.
Lawan called on discos to adhere to the Share Purchase Agreement signed with the federal government at the point of acquisition of Nigeria’s electricity distribution to ensure steady supply of electricity in the country.
“These are businesses so they must do everything and anything possible to provide services.
“When they provide services efficient and effective services to consumers then they can make money.
“But in the process as a government, we too must ensure that we discharge our obligations in the Shared Purchase Agree signed.
“And once we are able to achieve that, we will have a better situation in the power sector in Nigeria; it is doable; it has happened elsewhere.
“So, we cannot continue to give DISCOs and GENCOs the resources that we will ordinarily deploy in building schools and hospitals but whatever is necessary for us to do as part of our agreement with them, we must do.”
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said there was need for cost reflective tariff, but pointed out that the timing would also be important in taking such decision.
“The whole idea is that when there is a major policy decision, it is always good the executive and legislature are on the same page,” he said.
On the International Day of Parliamentarians, Lawan said that Nigerian legislators were doing their best, but pointed out that it was the public that should judge their performance.