The House of Representatives committee on power has directed the National Electricity Regulatory Commission [NERC] to suspend the proposed increase in electricity tariff.
The lawmakers gave the directive during its meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
The committee chairman, Hon. Aliyu Magaji asked NERC to issue a directive suspending the upward review pending proper consultations on the matter.
Recall that NERC had approved increase in electricity tarriff and directed the electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to enforce an upward review of the tariff starting from April 1.
Reports shows that the directive of the new tariff regime for different DisCos and category of customers, was published on NERC website on January 4.
The directive was signed by the NERC Chairman, Prof. James Momoh and Secretary, Mr. Dafe Akpedeye.
The commission said that the order superceded the earlier one issued on the subject matter, and “the new tariff regime takes effect from Jan. 1, 2020 .
NERC noted that the order had taken into consideration, other actual changes in relevant macroeconomic variables and available generation capacity as at October, 31 2019.
It said the order was in line with updating the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) operating -2015 Tariff Order for 2019 in line with the provisions of the amended MYTO Methodology.
Reacting to the proposed hike, however, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila said that electricity distribution companies have yet to convince the public that estimated billing will be stopped if they increase consumption tariff.
Gbajabiamila also said the National Assembly should ensure that the proposed new electricity tariff was cost-reflective, while stating that the increment should not be allowed until estimated billing was criminalised.
He said he would meet with the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and stakeholders in the power sector over the matter.
On his part, the Minority Leader, Mr Ndudi Elumelu, condemned the plans by Discos to increase electricity tariff, and asked the Commission to stop all processes leading to the increment.