Stop fixed charges, Senate tells Nigeria’s Discos

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Ayorinde Oluokun/Abuja
Senate President, Bukola Saraki
The upper chamber of the National Assembly, the Senate has directed the National Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC to introduce measures that will ensure immediate abolition of fixed charges by the Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOS while all the money that has been so far collected as fixed charges across the country should be accounted for.
The Senators reached the decision after discussion on a motion on the Unfair Trade Practices of Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) in Nigeria brought to the floor by Senator Sam Egwu (Ebonyi North). Egwu had in the motion noted that the DISCOS have been ripping off Nigerians since they began their operation through fixed charges and bulk metering across the country.
The Senator pointed out that the distribution companies were still billing consumers in some parts of the country through the estimated billing system, which according to him, does not take into consideration actual electricity consumed.
He also noted that consumers are being billed even when they are not enjoying services.
Other Senators who contributed to debate of the motion spoke in the same vein. Senator Ben Murray-Bruce (Bayelsa) noted for instance that his company, Silverbird Communications has kept conflicting bills of up to N20 million a month from the Discos, though his meter has not read up to that amount.
Other Senators who contributed to the discussion also listed the various that the excesses of the Discos which they said must be curbed while they also said the Senate must find a way of making the distribution companies to respect its decision.
After the debate, the senate resolved to direct NERC to stop fixed charges on electricity.
It noted that despite all efforts‎ by the government however, there has been constant level of arbitrariness, whereby electricity consumers are charged extortionate rates, fixed rate, based on the use of the …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper