President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ahmed Lawan has announced the intervention of the National Assembly in the planned hike in the electricity tariff, which is billed to begin from July 1st, 2020 by stopping the plan even as it is deferred to next year 2021.
In his verified Facebook page today, June 29, the Senate President said that as a result of the intervention of the National Assembly: “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.
“Earlier today, I led the leadership of the National Assembly to a meeting with the Chief Executive of government electricity regulatory body and electricity Distribution Companies across the country, the outcome of which is the halt in the planned increase in electricity tariffs.”
Senator Lawan, who promised to lead the same leadership of the National Assembly on the same issue meet with President Muhammadu Buhari later, said that they made it clear to Distribution Companies at the meeting that the timing of the planned hike was wrong even “though we had not much issue with the need to introduce a cost reflective tariffs for the power sector to attract the much needed investment.
“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.
“So between now and the first quarter of next year, our 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.”