The House of Representatives under the leadership of Hon Yakubu Dogara has
commenced an investigation into allegations of excessive electricity
charges being levied on consumers by distribution companies.
Dogara, while delivering a remark at the investigative hearing held by the
House ad-hoc committee set up to curb excessive electricity charges by the
distribution companies, explained that the investigation is being carried
out with a view to reducing the financial burden on Nigerians and finding
a lasting solution to the crisis currently plaguing the energy sector.
“The House is aware of the financial hardship being experienced by most of
our people, due to the high electricity charges by DISCOs. This has
further compounded the difficulty brought about by the economic downturn
in the country. We are, therefore, determined to get all the facts on the
matter, with a view to addressing it”, he said.
He revealed that the committee was setup following allegations that after
the unbundling of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the
DISCOs hurriedly installed new sets of prepaid meters which gobble the
units purchased much faster than the older prepaid meters.
He charged the committee to “unravel the veracity of the allegation of the
presence of wrongly configured prepaid meters that are over-billing the
already impoverished masses of this country” and urged all stakeholders
and participants to be objective, truthful and open in their submissions
“As a Parliament, we are obliged to be fair to both the service providers
and the consumers in our Legislation. Everyone must therefore, seize this
opportunity to provide us with all the available information. We must all
put heads together to find a lasting solution to the crisis in our Energy
Sector, so that all the people of Nigeria can enjoy stable and affordable
electricity supply to enhance the quality of our lives,” he said.
He stated that the House is also currently working on legislation which
will further protect consumers.
“As most of the stakeholders present here may be aware, the House of
Representatives is currently working on a Bill for an Act to Amend the
Electricity Power Sector Reform Act, 2004, to Prohibit and Criminalize
Estimated Billing by Electricity Distribution Companies and Provide for
Compulsory Installation of Prepaid Meters to all Power Consumers in
Nigeria. The Bill is already at the Committee stage, and it is meant to
block another loophole by which the DISCOs are allegedly cheating
Speaker Dogara described the work of the investigative committee as
instrumental to the successful implementation of the proposed law and
urged the committee to carry out its assignment expeditiously.