The National Assembly has prescribed a N500,000 fine on any providers of water, electricity and other utility providers who increases tariff without recourse to the Utilities Charges Commission. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the fine represents a 4900 per cent increment from the original fine of N10,000 prescribed in the Utilities Charges Commission Act 2004. With the amendment, any utility service provider must first confer with and get approval from the commission before increasing tariffs and bringing hardship on Nigerians. RSenate directs NERC to suspend increase in electricity tariff The Senate gave its concurrence to the Bill amending the Act which had already been passed by the House of Representatives and sent to the Senate for concurrence. Therefore electricity distribution companies will henceforth not unilaterally increase its tariff without first consulting the commission. In his lead debate at Thursday plenary, Senate Leader Ali Ndume explained that the amendment was in line with current realities.