The Senate on Tuesday passed a resolution directing the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to immediately enforce the abolishment of fixed charges being collected from electricity consumers across the country.
The resolution followed a motion titled “Unfair trade practices of Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) in Nigeria”, sponsored by Senators Sam Egwu and David Umaru.
Presenting the motion, Senator Egwu said the distribution companies since their take-off have been exploiting their customers through fixed charges and bulk metering.
He expressed concern that with the present economic realities on ground in the country, a lot of Nigerians would not be able to access electricity in view of the fixed charges.
Contributing to the debate, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce described the activities of the DISCOs as a big fraud.
“This is the biggest fraud I have ever seen in my life”, he said. “They charge exorbitant charges while providing poor power supply. The companies are extorting and exploiting the poor”.
In his contribution to the debate, Senator Danjuma Goje called for a thorough probe of the entire privatization process of the power sector.
Ruling on the motion, the Senators urged NERC to direct the DISCOs to discontinue the practice of compulsory bulk metering of villages and communities in the rural areas.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki said the expectation of Nigerians on the privatisation of the power sector has been deflated.
“We must look into it but it is clear that something is wrong. We will look at the possibility of conducting a public hearing on it”, Saraki said.