Suspend Proposed Electricity Tariff Increment’ – ActionAid Nigeria Tells NERC
Uploaded by Michael George on September 8, 2021
ActionAid Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation working to eradicate poverty in Nigeria has opposed the alleged resolution by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) directing the 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to increase their tariffs from Wednesday, September 1, 2021. ActionAid Nigeria posits that the increase in electricity tariff will further erode the purchasing power of Nigerian workers in formal and informal sectors and will further impoverish more Nigerians.
Speaking in Abuja, the Country Director, Ene Obi said “The increase in electricity tariff is not only ill-timed but insensitive to the precarious plight of Nigerians whose lean disposable incomes are already decapitated. ActionAid’s position is hinged on the premise that previous hike in electricity tariffs had not translated to effective and regulatory strategies to manage the impact of such hikes on macro-economic indices affecting end-users that are currently economically crippled and trapped”. She also reminded the Federal Government “that more than a hundred million Nigerians are living below the poverty line”
The Country Director averred that instead of this tariff hike, NERC should compel all the actors in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry to ensure increased efficiency in the power sector including managing energy loses to make erratic power supply a thing of the past as a way of boosting productivity and Nigeria’s GDP. We urge NERC to rescind this decision and ensure that the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry improve its performance before considering a tariff increase.
Speaking further, she noted if this purported decision is not reconsidered, the cost of production of basic items produced in the country will increase and this may also lead to job losses in the already ailing medium and small-scale industries in Nigeria. Investors who rely largely on the power supply will obviously not be able to break even. To remain afloat, they will have to shift the burden of the increased cost of production to the final consumers of their products and services in an economy already choked by inflation”.
ActionAid Nigeria emphasised that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Federal Government, should suspend the planned electricity tariff increment and uphold its values of transparency, fairness, and accountability by ensuring continuous consultation with the masses while protecting consumer rights.
By Abiola PETERS