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Senate Rejects plans to increase Electricity Tariff



      Nigerian Senate has rejected plans by the Ministry of Power to increase electricity tariff given the present hardship in the country.

The Senate then called on the Federal Government to step down the idea of an increase in electricity tariff.

The upper chamber also directed its Committee on Power to investigate the N2 trillion subsidy requirement as stated by the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, and other debts owed in the sector, and find out the state of metering in the country.

The resolution of the Senate followed its consideration and approval of a motion by Senator Aminu Abbas (PDP, Adamawa Central) moved during plenary on the need to retain the subsidy on electricity in the county for the foreseeable future.

Last week, Adelabu disclosed at a press conference in Abuja that Nigeria was not likely to sustain the current electricity subsidy.

He explained that the indebtedness of the country’s power sector to electricity-generating companies and gas companies had risen to over N3tn.

He said, “Today, we owe a total of N1.3tn to the power generating companies, out of which 60 per cent is owed to gas suppliers. Today we have a legacy debt, before 2014, to the gas companies of $1.3bn; at today’s rate, that is close to N2 trillion.”

Recall that the spokesperson for the Senate, Yemi Adraamodu, said it would not allow any hike in electricity tariff that may add to the woes of Nigerians.

Abbas, in his lead debate, said the “Senate notes with greatest dismay the plan to increase electricity tariff by the relevant statutory authority in gross disregard of increased economic challenges with attendant widespread poverty and high cost of living.”

He added, “The Senate may note that the Minister of Power was reported as saying that the nation must begin to move towards a cost-effective tariff model, as the country is currently indebted to the tune of N1.3tn to generating companies (GenCos) and $1.3bn owed gas companies.

“According to him, out of over N2tn needed for subsidy, only N450 billion was budgeted this year.

Victoria Philip is not only a Journalist but also a talented fiction writer. You can reach her on this numbers, 08135853903, 09112869878