NASS halts planned hike in electricity tarrifs for Nigerians

By Oluwaseun Sonde

The National Assembly (NASS) leadership has intervened to halt planned hike in electricity tarrifs for Nigerians as the planned increase in electricity tariff which was earlier billed to take off from July 1st, 2020 has now been deferred to the first quarter of 2021 as they meet with President Muhammed Buhari.

The leadership of the National Assembly held a meeting with the Chief Executive of government electricity regulatory body and electricity Distribution Companies across the country on Monday which resulted into the halted planned hike of the traffic.

The leadership of the National Assembly were emphatic at the meeting that the timing of the planned hike was wrong even though the Assembly had not much issue with the need to introduce a cost reflective tariffs for the power sector to attract the much needed investment.

According to Senate President, Senator Ibrahim Lawan, “the agreement is that there is not going to be any increase in the tariffs on July 1st. While we are in agreement here that there is no question on the justification of the increase but the time is simply not right and appropriate measures need to be put in place.

“There is too much stress in the lives of Nigerians today and indeed across the world because of the challenges imposed by COVID-19 pandemic and even before then, we had issues that would always make it tough for our people to effectively pay the tariffs”, he said.

He added that between now and the first quarter of next year, National Assembly task will be to work together with the Discos to ensure that “we put those blocks in place to support the eventual increase in tariffs.

“The government has been doing a lot as part of its obligations to provide some form of Intervention. I’m quite aware that for this year, probably starting from last year, over N600 billion was earmarked for this sector to improve”, he said.

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