House Directs NERC to Suspend Planned Tariff Increase

The House of Representatives has directed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to suspend any planned hike in electricity tariff pending investigations into the activities of Electricity Distribution Companies regarding infrastructure and billing.

The Ad hoc Committee in charged of the investigation has therefore summoned officials of the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), to provide details of the commercial terms of the sold DISCOs. Officials of NERC would also appear before the committee.

Officials of the DISCOs would brief the committee on their plans on recovery of investment, details of consumer indebtedness, outstanding credits due to consumers, problems and prospects in the industry, and any other information they deem relevant to assist the committee in its assignment.

The Ad hoc Committee, headed by Hon. Babajimi Benson (Lagos APC) has the mandate to determine the methodology used in verifying investments, claimed by DISCOs, the billing process. It is also expected to find evidence that NERC is performing its functions appropriately and in the interest of Nigeria customers, evidence of consumer satisfaction, challenges and problems faced by NERC in carrying out its functions and justification for the proposed tariff increase.

In another development, the House has called for the construction of buffer dam in Adamawa state to check the incessant flooding which has caused preventable deaths and destruction in the state.

The resolution of the House followed a motion sponsored Hon. Igariwey Enwo (Ebonyi PDP) and Hon. Sadiq Ibrahim (Adamawa APC) who noted that flooding usually occurs when Cameroun releases excess water from its Lagdo dam.

Enwo recalled that when excess water was released from the Lagdo dam in 2012,  the flooding that followed led to the death of over 53 people in 11 states of the Federation, and  displacement of over 100,420 others, disrupting lives, paralysing economic activities and causing the loss of properties estimated at around N2.6 trillion.

He listed communities threatened by flooding include those in Bayelsa, Rivers, Niger, Delta  Anambra, Taraba, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kogi, Benue States and riverine parts of Ebonyi State.
Ibrahim, also presenting the motion, recalled that when Cameroun built Lagdo dam in 1982, the Government of Nigeria was advised to build a buffer dam downstream. He added that the suitable site for the buffer dam has been identified to be in  Dasin village in Fufore Local Government Area of Adamawa State.

Ibrahim added that the multi-purpose dam is  expected to generate about 300 megawatts of electricity, irrigate about 150,000 hectares of land and provide employment opportunities for 40,000 families.

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