Former Chairman of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has said that he and his colleagues at the NERC took the decision to reverse the electricity tariff in 2014 and not President Goodluck Jonathan.
The NERC had in the build-up to the 2015 general polls, announced an increase in electricity tariff but later suspended the action.
But the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) had during a public lecture in Lagos on Thursday, stated that the Jonathan- led administration ordered a reversal of tariff in order to win electoral votes.
Amadi has however faulted the claim of Fashola in a statement he issued on Friday, saying that he and his colleagues at the NERC took the decision to suspend the action.
According to him, the action was that of regulatory decision, devoid of any interference from the Jonathan- led government at the time.
Amadi also stated that Jonathan never dictated policy to the commission, saying that he was determined to ensure the independence of the regulator.
The statement reads in part, ” I have read some piece of news suggesting that President Jonathan ordered the reversal of electricity tariff during his tenure as president. Since I have left office I have avoided issues about electricity regulation in Nigeria to give our successors the best opportunity to do better than we did.
“My understanding of public office that the best a former public officer should do is to truly step aside and be willing to provide advice if and when it is needed. In the best tradition of public service, you don’t obstruct the new administration.
“But I am constrained to restate the truth of what happened for the purpose of ensuring proper information to enable the present administration do their best to fix the electricity crisis. Throughout our five years as commissioners of NERC, there was no single day that President Jonathan ever dictated or instructed policy to the commission concerning any issue on electricity regulation.”
Amadi further disclosed that all tariffs issued from 2010 to 2015 did not require the approval of Jonathan.
He said, “On the matter of the tariff, the facts are straightforward and borne out by records. NERC as a regulation has comprehensive methodology and business rules for regulating tariff. The act, methodology and business rules put the responsibility on NERC commissioners who vote democratically for every such decision, just like the board of governors of the CBN does for monetary policies.
“Every tariff we have issued from 2010 to 2015 did not receive or require the approval of the president. Only NERC commissioners approved them.
“I am prepared to take slacks for any intended or unintended consequences of that decision as the chairman and chief executive of NERC. I still strongly believe that my reading of effective regulation confirms that it was a good decision to internalise efficiency in the distribution segment of the electricity industry. But President Jonathan played no role at all in that decision. His ministers did not play any role. It was a bona fide regulatory decision that may be termed wise or unwise, after the facts. But should not be used to denigrate President Jonathan or the ministers of power.
“But for now, take it from the horse’s mouth: Jonathan did not reverse any tariff. Sam Amadi and his colleagues changed the tariff through the normal due process and as part of the effective regulation of the sector.”