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Electricity Tariff Increase: Probe NERC, Amadi, NLC Demands

Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has described as “treacherous, shameful and saddening” the statement credited to the immediate past Chairman of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi (by an online media) on the directive of the Senate to NERC to rescind its decision on the 45 percent increase on electricity tariff.

Disguised by Amadi’s position in the issue, NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, in an emailed statement on Sunday, called on the relevant agencies to not only probe Amadi’s tenure at NERC, but also the entire privatisation process of the power sector.

The statement further demanded that the directive of the National Assembly be respected and effected without delay.

“Amadi had, among other things, said the directive of the Senate is ‘illegal, unconstitutional and a direct encroachment on the executive independence’, and that NERC, as presently constituted, cannot suspend or rescind the decision by the previous NERC Commission.

“Amadi is being economical with the truth and his legal knowledge. The duties of the legislature as defined by the constitution include legislation, oversight and investigation.

“Beside this, elementary knowledge of the Social Sciences tells us that independence of the three arms of government in a liberal democracy is a coordinate one. Even if it were absolute, such independence cannot be in pursuance of criminality, fraud or injustice.

“Secondly, we find it disgusting that Dr. Amadi could only remember the independence of the Executive and not that of the Judiciary which gave an earlier order and still subsisting that no increment be made until the determination of the substantive case.

“Flowing from the breach of this order, a contempt proceeding against NERC is on in court, but Amadi will have none of this.

“But what else do we expect from a Chairman, who not only compromised the Commission, but surrendered willy nilly its functions to the successor-companies in the power sector for God-knows why?

“Amadi not only described the Senate directive as a ‘dangerous precedence’, but has instigated NERC not to obey the directive as ‘it would have put itself in a double bind between the executive and legislature and a violation of the provisions of the Act’.

“We are disgusted by this and are accordingly calling on the relevant agencies to probe not  just the tenure of Amadi at NERC but the entire privatisation process of the power sector which he stage-managed. We are also keen to know his relationship with some of the discos for whom he has become chief spokesman.

“On our part, we demand that the directive of the NASS be respected and effected right away.

“We also demand that if any disco or genco does not have the requisite capacity, it should honorably surrender its possessory and proprietary rights to government as was the case with the Yola Electricity Company. The Yola company was honourable enough and reasons adduced by it, genuine.

“We will not fold our hands while a few individuals or companies or institutions further plunder and plunge this country into abyss.

“While we are ready to submit ourselves to the ongoing intervention process at the NASS, we must sound a note of warning that we shall not allow any one to take the people of this country for a ride any more. Let the Amadis of this world listen, if they have ears,” it read.

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