The leadership of the National Assembly on Monday waded into the controversy on the planned hike in electricity tariffs from July 1st, 2020, and succeeded in convincing the Distribution Companies to defer the plan till the first quarter of 2021.
This was contained in a statement issued late Tuesday by the Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media and Publicity, Ola Awoniyi.
The statement read, “The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and other principal Officers of the two Chambers met at the National Assembly with the Chief Executives of the government electricity regulatory body and DISCOs across the country.
“Also in attendance were the Chairmen of the Committees on Power from the Senate and House of Representatives.
“The National Assembly leaders were emphatic at the meeting that the timing of the planned hike was wrong even though there is the need to introduce a cost reflective tariffs for the power sector to attract the much-needed investment.
“In the course of the meeting, the DISCOs too admitted that they were not well prepared for the planned hike in tariffs even though they so much desired the increase.
“The meeting agreed to defer the planned hike till first quarter of next year while the leadership of the National Assembly promised to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue.”
“The agreement here is that there is not going to be any increase in the tariffs on July 1st,” Lawan said at the end of the meeting.
“The Speaker and I are going to take appropriate action and meet with the President.
“We are in agreement here that there is no question on the justification of the increase but the time is simply not right and appropriate measures need to be put in place
“So, between now and the first quarter of next year, our task will be to work together with you to ensure that we put those blocks in place to support the eventual increase in tariffs,” Lawan told the executive officers.