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Senate Commences Investigative Hearing on Electricity Tariff Hike

The Nigerian Senate has initiated an investigative hearing to address the recent increase in electricity tariffs across 11 states in the country. The Senate has stated that it will not hesitate to punish any individual or agency found responsible for adding to the burdens and sufferings of Nigerians.

Last week, the Senate’s Committee on Power had summoned the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, and the heads of agencies under the ministry to participate in the investigative hearing, which is scheduled for April 29, 2024. The committee chairman, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, emphasized that the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) will be allowed to provide explanations regarding the electricity tariff hike.

The investigative hearing is based on two motions presented at the Senate plenary on July 25, 2023, and February 21, 2024, where the Senate mandated the Committee on Power to engage with the Federal Ministry of Power, NERC, and other stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the challenges facing the Nigerian Electricity Sector, including the need for comprehensive sector reforms.

During the hearing, the committee chairman stated that the investigation will also focus on the over N2 trillion subsidy requirement, as mentioned by the Minister of Power, to avoid a repeat of the fuel subsidy scenario. Additionally, the committee will investigate the role of the Ministry of Power, NERC, and ZIGLAKS COMPANY regarding their failed agreement to provide meters and ensure that Nigerians are not shortchanged.

The committee also sought answers from the electricity stakeholders on when NERC migrated from the previous customer classes of Residential (R1, R2, R3), Commercial (C1 and C2), and Demand (D1 and D2) to the present BANDS (A, B, C) for electricity customers.

The Senate has reiterated its determination and commitment to carrying out this assignment diligently to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians and stated that it will not hesitate to sanction any individual or agency found culpable.

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