Senate yesterday asked the National Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, to immediately stop the monthly fixed charges being collected from electricity consumers across the country.
The lawmakers also asked NERC to account for all the monies that has so far been collected on fixed charges across the nation.
Furthermore, the legislators directed Electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs, to discontinue the practice of compulsory bulk metering of villages and communities in the rural areas because a consumer should have the right to elect to be part of bulk metering scheme or not.
These directives were the outcome of some of the resolutions adopted by the Senate, which were contained in the motion by Senator Sam Egwu (Ebonyi North) and co-sponsored by Senator David Umaru (Niger East) entitled: “Unfair Trade Practices of Electricity Distribution Companies in Nigeria.”
Senate also resolved to direct NERC to make a regulation to mandate the DISCOs to discontinue the practice of making consumers pay for meters, poles and transforms, which by law are properties of the DISCOs.
The senators noted that where consumers purchase those items, they should give notice of the purchase to the DISCOs and should be entitled to recover their expenses from subsequent electricity consumption.
This was in addition to the Senate calling on NERC to bring an end to the monopoly of DISCOs on the sale of energy meters to enable consumers purchase them, either from the distribution companies or from any other suppliers, subject to the regulation and specifications by the regulator.