THE Enugu State House of Assembly has warned the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) against the alleged incessant and arbitrary hike in electricity bill in the state.
The order was contained in the report of the Ad-hoc Committee on the EEDC and Electricity Consumers crisis in the state, presented on the floor of the House by the Deputy Speaker, Honourable Donatus Uzogbado who was also the Chairman of the Ad-hoc committee.
The assembly also urged the company to provide well calibrated pre-paid meters to all electricity customers both in urban and rural areas of the state.
While presenting the report before the assembly in Enugu on Tuesday, Hon. Donatus Uzogbado also directed the company to immediately revert to the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) approved tariff of 27.13kilowatt hour (Kwh).
Uzogbado noted with dismay that the EEDC was charging urban areas tariff of 30.3Kwh and the rural areas 34.28kwh as against NERC approved rate of 27.13kwh since December, 2016.
He said that the committee was constituted to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the crisis between the EEDC and consumers and make appropriate recommendations to the house.
The Deputy Speaker of the assembly, pointed out that the committee organized public hearings with the three senatorial zones on the numerous complaints on activities of the EEDC in the state.
According to him, the committee organized a public hearing with Enugu West Senatorial Zone on April 26, Enugu North Zone on May 3 and Enugu East senatorial zone on May 10 which was much tensed and noted that the committee came up with 13 recommendations for the resolution of the crisis between EEDC and their consumers in the state.
Uzogbado recommended that EEDC should obey approved estimation billing methodology, improve on power supply to consumers, give proper notice to consumers before disconnection and respond promptly to consumers’ complaints.
“NERC should make a public statement on the modality for the different tariff regimes.”
“The commission should effectively perform its regulatory role on EEDC and also create a platform for consumers’ awareness and enlightenment quarterly,” he said.
The committee also recommended that the Commissioner for Rural Development should facilitate the establishment of state Electricity Consumers Protection Committee.
Also, the Transitional Chairmen of the 17 Local Government Areas should facilitate the establishment of Local Government Electricity Consumers Protection Committee in the localities.
The assembly however, directed the Clerk to communicate the relevant stakeholders with the committee recommendations for immediate action.
In another development, Honourable Mathew Ugwueze (Igboeze South) presented a report of joint Committee on Education, Science and Technology, Gender Affairs and Social Development and Judiciary, Petitions, Ethics and Privileges for discussion on a later day.
The joint committee was constituted to look into the bill to amend the Enugu State Universal Basic Education law, 2005 and to provide matters connected therewith.
The sitting was adjourned till July 6, 2017.
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