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Senate Rejects Electricity Tariff Hike, Probes N2tn Subsidy

The Senate has expressed its disapproval of the Ministry of Power's proposal to increase electricity tariffs by Distribution companies, citing the current economic hardships in the country. Additionally, plans to eliminate electricity subsidies have been rejected by the Senate, which urged the government to abandon the idea of tariff hikes. 

In response, the Senate directed the power committee to investigate the N2 trillion required for electricity subsidy payments, outstanding debts in the sector, and the status of metering across the nation.

The Senate's decision was made following the motion put forward by Senator Aminu Abbas, emphasizing the importance of retaining electricity subsidies amidst prevailing economic challenges. 

Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, had previously indicated that sustaining current electricity subsidy payments might not be feasible due to the sector's increasing indebtedness to power generating and gas companies, which now amounts to over N3 trillion.

Senator Abbas highlighted concerns over the proposed tariff hike, particularly its potential impact on impoverished populations already grappling with stagnant wages and rising inflation. 

He criticized the electricity distribution companies for collecting fees from customers without providing adequate services and pointed out discrepancies in energy billing practices.

The debate saw additional contributions from Senators Aminu Tambuwal and Orji Kalu, who both criticized the notion of increasing electricity tariffs during challenging times and advocated for a focus on improving transmission and distribution infrastructure rather than burdening consumers with additional costs. 

They also noted that even advanced economies subsidize electricity, questioning the rationale behind imposing higher tariffs on consumers who may not even have access to reliable electricity services.

In essence, the Senate's stance reflects a rejection of proposed electricity tariff hikes and underscores the need for thorough investigations into subsidy payments, outstanding debts, and metering deficiencies in the power sector.

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