• Monday, May 20, 2024
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Nigeria’s electricity tariff hike: A reckless move in need of urgent correction

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The recent electricity tariff hike serves as a painful reminder of the daily struggle faced by millions of Nigerians grappling with the spectre of unreliable power. As the burden of this increase disproportionately falls upon Band A customers—the very heartbeat of our nation’s economy—it underscores a profound imbalance in the way we confront the challenges plaguing our power sector. Rather than wielding a heavy hand against those who dutifully contribute to our nation’s growth, it’s imperative that the government shift its focus towards solutions that target the underlying issues of inefficiency and inequity. This isn’t merely about imposing punitive measures; it’s about crafting a path forward that fosters fairness and progress for all.

Read also: How Nigerians can survive new electricity tariff hike

The Band A customers, who play a pivotal role in the country’s economy, are being burdened with exorbitant rates without addressing the fundamental issues plaguing the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI). This approach not only penalises those who contribute significantly to the economy but also exacerbates the financial strain on consumers while failing to tackle the root causes of the problem.

NERC’s decision reflects a lack of foresight and strategic planning. Rather than addressing the systemic mismanagement that has plagued NESI for decades, the focus has been on short-term fixes that do little to address the underlying issues. The failure to invest in modernising infrastructure and implementing effective regulatory practices has perpetuated the cycle of inefficiency and underperformance in the sector.

Moreover, the reliance on a straight-line metre tariff structure is a regressive and anti-industrialization approach that fails to incentivize consumption or promote economic growth. Instead of fostering industrial productivity, the current tariff structure burdens consumers and stifles development, further widening the gap between Nigeria’s electricity supply and its economic needs.

“Moreover, the reliance on a straight-line metre tariff structure is a regressive and anti-industrialization approach that fails to incentivize consumption or promote economic growth.”

Nigeria’s power woes demand a complete overhaul, not just quick fixes. We need a bold vision for a modern grid that connects communities and endures. Performance-based regulations have become a game-changer, incentivizing efficiency and reliability. But Nigeria’s true strength lies in its diverse resources, from solar to wind power. Harnessing this mix reduces import reliance and fosters sustainability. Finally, distribution networks, the neglected arteries of power, need a revamp to meet modern demands. This isn’t patching a leaky pipe; it’s building a future where every Nigerian has access to reliable power and blackouts are a distant memory.

Furthermore, the government must acknowledge its responsibility to subsidise NESI until the underlying problems are resolved. This requires a commitment to long-term solutions rather than short-sighted measures that only exacerbate the problem. By investing in the training and development of engineers and implementing effective regulatory practices, Nigeria can pave the way for a sustainable and efficient electricity sector that serves the needs of its people and economy.

Read also: The new electricity tariff beats the band backwards

In conclusion, the recent electricity tariff hike serves as an urgent call to action, beckoning Nigeria towards a future where power is not a luxury but a fundamental right. It’s a rallying cry for reform that echoes across the nation, demanding more than just lip service—it demands real, tangible change. Nigeria cannot afford to remain mired in the quagmire of inefficiency and stagnation; it must forge ahead with bold strides towards a brighter tomorrow. This means rolling up our sleeves and getting to work on building a power sector that serves as the engine of economic growth and prosperity.

It is about investing in the infrastructure of tomorrow, where innovation thrives and reliability is non-negotiable. By establishing clear and effective regulations, we can pave the way for a future where every Nigerian, regardless of their circumstances, has access to the life-changing power of electricity. Anything less would be a disservice, not just to the aspirations of our people but also to the boundless potential of our great nation.