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Reps summon Tinubu over fuel scarcity, order NERC to stop electricity tariff hike

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The House of Representatives has invited President Bola Tinubu and all relevant stakeholders in the petroleum industry to appear before it to brief Nigerians on the measures put in place to end the current fuel scarcity and avert its reoccurrence in the future.

The summon followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by the member representing
Makarfi-Kudan federal constituency of Kaduna State, Hon. Umar Shehu Ajilo at plenary on Tuesday.

Moving the motion, Ajilo expressed worry over the lingering fuel scarcity accompanied by excessive increase in retail price of premium motor spirit (petrol) in filling stations across the country which he noted to have enabled additional hardship on the Nigerian citizens.

He expressed concerns that the fuel scarcity was coming at a time when the adverse economic effects caused by subsidy removal and soaring inflation is yet to be addressed by the government, not to mention the deteriorating income of Nigerians.

“Further concerned that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Ltd is yet to address this perennial and persistent fuel scarcity problem faced by Nigerians despite the volume of resources at its disposal.

“Most worrisome that all these economic quagmires have made the lives of average Nigerians unbearable with a litre of fuel selling as much as N1200 in some states of the Federation.

“This 10th Assembly must rise to the occasion to ensure that lasting measures are taken to address this unfortunate and embarrassing situation permanently in the interest of all Nigerians,” Ajilo stated.

Also at the plenary, the House asked the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to halt the implementation of the recently announced increase in electricity tariff.

Consequently, the House set up a special committee comprising the Committees on Power, Commerce, Delegated Legislation, and National Planning to organise a well-structured hearing on the price regulation of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

It also resolved to appoint a well-regarded former regulator as a technical consultant to develop templates for the determination of the legality and reasonableness of the procedures adopted by NERC in approving the tariff increase and establishing the performance benchmarks for the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).

The House further resolved to authorise the consultant to work with the special committee to draft a bill to provide for administrative procedures that entrench proper consultation and legislative review processes for tariff setting in the electricity and other public services in the country.

These resolutions followed the adoption of a motion of urgent importance moved by Hon. Nkemkanma Kama from Ebonyi at plenary on Tuesday.

Moving the motion, Hon. Kama lamented the alarming tariff increase announced by the NERC, resulting in a staggering 300% rise for certain consumers.

“However, what is more concerning are the reports indicating discrepancies in customer categorisation and widespread complaints regarding inadequate service despite increased charges.

“This situation has not just sparked national anxiety, but it also threatens regulatory certainty and investor confidence in the sector, demanding immediate attention,” he maintained.

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