House of Reps set to curb excessive electricity charges

By Oke Peter

The House of Representatives, on Thursday, said it would meet with Community Development Associations (CDAs) in different geo-political zones in the course of its Ad Hoc Committee assignment, to curb excessive electricity charges.

Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Ajibola Famurewa (Osun-APC), who made the assertion at the inaugural meeting of the committee, said excessive electricity charges were being levied on consumers by distribution companies (Discos).

He said that majority of Nigerians were suffering under the arbitrary charges for electricity from the distribution companies.

“The committee was given the mandate by the House to determine the differences between the prepaid meters installed by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and the MOJEC prepaid meters by DISCOs.

“It would also determine the costing algorithm used by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in arriving at the consumers’ price.

“The committee is to ascertain the average cost of electricity in West African sub region vis-a-vis Nigeria.

“Its mandate also include finding out why DISCOs have not complied with the deadline of March 1, 2017 in phasing out the estimated billing system.”

According to him, relevant organisations and agencies to be investigated include Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, the Central Bank of Nigeria , (CBN), the Consumer Protection Council, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NIBET) and the Transmission Company of Nigeria.

Others are Electricity Distribution Companies of Nigeria (DISCOs), Nigeria Labour Congress, and Association of Nigerians Electricity Consumers among others.

Famurewa said that there would be zonal interactive sessions with electricity consumers in a bid to understand the scope of the problem.

According to him, the committee will try to meet the six weeks given as deadline by the House.

This, he said, was to allow the House takes a timely decision on the issue to ease the suffering of the people.