Buhari supports suspension of planned electricity hike – NASS leadership

The the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had announced that the the new price regime for electricity consumers would take off from Wednesday, July 1, 2020.

While prior to, President Muhammadu Buhari has agreed to suggestions by National Assembly leadership on Tuesday, June 30, to prevail on electricity distribution companies in the country to suspend their planned electricity tariff price hike.

President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, held separate meetings with President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), in the State House on Tuesday.

Also in attendance were the Chairmen of the Committees on Power from the Senate and House of Representatives. The National Assembly leaders were emphatic at the meeting that the timing of the planned hike was wrong though they had not many issues with the need to introduce a cost-reflective tariff for the power sector to attract the much-needed investment.

Finally, Lawan said,

 “The agreement here is that there is not going to be an increase in the tariffs on July 1st. “The Speaker and I, we are going to take appropriate action and meet with the President. “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.

“So between now and the first quarter of next year, our task will be to work together with you to ensure that we put those blocks in place to support the eventual increase in tariffs ” Lawan who noted that the government has been doing a lot as part of its obligations to provide some form of Intervention, said,

“I’m quite aware that for this year, probably starting from last year, over N600 billion was earmarked for this sector to improve.

“The potential increase in the tariffs is definitely something that will be of concern to us in the National Assembly. “There is too much stress in the lives of Nigerians today and indeed across the world because of the challenges imposed by novel coronavirus pandemic and even before then, we had issues that would always make it tough for our people to effectively pay the tariffs.

“One way or the other, for this business to flourish, for this sector to be appropriately fixed, for it to attract investment, something has to give way, there is no doubt about that but it is also crucial that we look at the timing for any of our actions.

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