Electricity Tariff Hike: Power Ministry, NERC Forcing Nigerians to Pay for Their Inefficiency – Afenifere

Sharing is caring!

The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural and political organization, Afenifere, has decried the over 200 per cent electricity tariff increase, saying that it will thwart the current administration’s effort at boosting the economy as businesses will shrink.

Afenifere, in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Jare Ajayi, recalled that as recent as Thursday, April 4, 2024, President Bola Tinubu underscores the role that private sector plays in an economy.

Afenifere spokesman wondered how businesses can flourish as desired by the President when the amount to be paid per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity jumped from N68 to N225 just within 24 hours of its announcement.

It would be recalled that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Wednesday, April 4, 2024, announced that from the following day, Thursday, electricity consumers on Band A would begin to pay N225 per kilowatt hour as against N68 they have been paying up till then. Mr. Musliu Oseni, the Commission’s Vice Chairman who made the announcement, said that only those who enjoy 20 hours of electricity supply or more (out of 24 hours that make a day) were affected by this increase. They were categorized to be on Band A.

Oseni said that the additional revenue will attract investments into the energy sector just as he promised that his commission will deploy several tools to ensure that customers in Band A would get the said 20 hours electricity supply from distribution companies (DisCos).

Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, corroborated Oseni when he said that the increment would affect only 15 per cent of electricity consumers in Nigeria which translates into only 1.5 million customers.

Taking a swipe at this reasoning, Ajayi submitted that it is erroneous to say that only those who are direct enrollees in a particular Band utilize the power being supplied through that band. “For instance, a Band A consumer is likely to have people in his/her household or place of work where the power is being consumed. Meaning that if 1.5 million is the figure the government has as enrollees on Band A, the number of people who depend on the power coming therefrom would be about five times that figure.

“Besides, by calling on players in the power sector to ensure that people get what they are paying for is like putting the cart before the horse”.

As the experience from the subsidy on petrol has shown, those who suffer from government’s withdrawal of subsidy are not necessarily those who benefitted from it. The victims would be average Nigerians who would patronize services being rendered or items being produced by high power users since they (the latter) would easily pass the higher cost onto their customers.”

Thus, what Nigerians are suffering for today – and what they are being forced to pay for – is the failure of the relevant government agencies to discharge their responsibilities to the people – Research, innovate, move with the time etc.”

‘It would be recalled that broadcasting stations were forced to migrate to Frequency Modulation (FM) from Short Wave Band just as computer users had to move from desktop to laptop. Same can be done in the power sector. The in-thing today is solar, wind and gas.”

But the appropriate government agencies are disappointing Nigerians. Rather than look for means of taking Nigerians to the modern-day power technology, they chose to be milking the people. The way things are now, no effort should be spared in making the exploration of gas, wind and solar more efficient for the purpose of generating energy etc”.

Afenifere called on President Bola Tinubu to compel the Ministry of Power to reverse the present hike, go into alternative energy sources like solar and wind, review the terms with which the 2013 exercise was carried out and be more innovative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *