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Business & Finance

Discos Insist On Electricity Tariff Increase

Protest - Electricity
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Power distribution companies met briefly with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission on Monday and insisted that the increase in electricity tariffs across the country would be implemented regardless of a resolution by the Senate mandating them to revert to the old rate.

Although the meeting with NERC was adjourned to a later date, our correspondent gathered that the Discos viewed the Senate’s position on the new electricity tariff regime as advisory.

Officials of different Discos as well as those from the NERC, who were present at the meeting on Monday, stated that participants at the gathering agreed that the major challenge facing operators in the sector was the fact that the Senate had passed a resolution asking NERC and the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to suspend the increase in tariffs.

But the representative of a chief executive officer of one of the Discos who was present at the meeting stated that the resolution by the Senate mandating a reversal in electricity tariffs would not stand.

The official, who pleaded anonymity considering the sensitive nature of the subject, stated that the Discos discussed the resolution by the Senate and agreed that it should be regarded as being advisory.

He said, “The Senate’s order will not happen. That will not happen and I’m assuring you that it can’t work. You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand that such a directive can’t stand, because things don’t work like that.

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“The resolution is not an Act of Parliament, at best it is advisory. So you can as well get a superior advice and then jettison the one from the Senate by showing them reasons for your decision. We respect the National Assembly for they are our representatives and we are talking with them.”

When asked to speak on other outcomes of the inconclusive meeting, the CEO of another Disco said, “The meeting that was to happen today with NERC did not hold as expected and it is not because of any disagreement.

“It was actually because some of our members could not make it to Abuja. Flights were delayed from Kano and some other parts of the country. So the meeting was adjourned and will be held at a later date when everybody will be able to make it to Abuja.”

When contacted, the Executive Director, Association of National Electricity Distributors, an umbrella body for the Discos, Mr. Sunday Oduntan, confirmed that the meeting was adjourned, but pleaded with Nigerians to support the power firms.

“We should all try hard to build this industry and I can assure you that NERC and the Discos are working together on this issue,” he said.

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