Senate kick against electricity Tariff hike, as Adelabu warns of 3-month total darkness.

Adelabu insisted that the hike is necessary to attract investors and improve infrastructure in the sector.


The Senate has expressed disagreement with the Minister of Power, the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) over the planned electricity hike.

This is as the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu warned of a possibility of total darkness in the country if the proposed increase in electricity tariff is not implemented.

Adelabu gave this warning while speaking at an investigative hearing of the Senate Committee on Power, in Abuja, on Monday.

The Committee chaired by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (APGA, Abia South) however, requested the Ministry, the NERC, and the DISCOS to cease the plan of action and look into other possibilities.

The committee had summoned the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the Minister of Power and the Central Bank of Nigeria for an investigative hearing on the need to halt the proposed increased electricity tariff by 11 Successor electricity distribution companies.

Upon his appearance before the committee, Adelabu clarified that tariff hikes have been deemed necessary in order to sustain electricity generation and distribution in the country.

Despite his warning that the country would be thrown into darkness within the next three months, Adelabu expressed sympathy for Nigerians given the dire economic circumstances. He insisted that the hike is necessary to attract investors and improve infrastructure in the sector.

He said; “The entire sector will be grounded if we don’t increase the tariff, with what We have now in the next three months the entire country will be in darkness if we don’t increase the tariff.

“The increment will catapult us to the next level. We are also Nigerians, we are also feeling the impact.

“There are a lot of inefficiencies in the value chain. The value that we have reviewed is based on the exchange rate of 1400 but if the exchange rate comes down the tariff will also reduce and it is based on supply.”

In the same vein, the NERC chairman, Sanusi Garba stated that the hike was required to generate funds that would foster investment in the sector.

“The reality is that we are not the same size. I repeat that we provide credible information, even the data we have can be verified. We have also clearly indicated that we can downgrade feeders if they are not delivering. Some Feeders do not have the former rate.”

Senator Fadeyi Olubiyi (PDP, Osun Central), who disagreed with the hike, urged the federal government and the DISCOS to explore other options to strengthen their operations.

He said, “You as a Minister should look outside the box you have a name to protect and Nigerians are watching.”

On his part, Senator Oyelola Ashiru (APC, Kwara South), called for a need to consider the “poorest of the poor” in the society, stressing that the electricity consumption in the country is not proportionate with the amount charged by the DISCOS.

“What is clear is that there is terrible inefficiency in the system. I have changed my consumption as suggested by the Minister by switching off certain appliances in my home but it changes nothing. My concern is about the poorest of the poor who need this energy to make a living.”