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NGO faults NERC’s proposed electricity tariff hike

ActionAid Nigeria has called on the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Federal Government to halt the planned electricity tariff increment and uphold their value of transparency, fairness and accountability by ensuring that they get into continuous consultation with masses while protecting consumers rights.

EneObi, the Country Director, while speaking in Abuja said the increase in electricity tariff came at the odd time and equally insensitive to the precarious plight of Nigerians whose lean disposable income are already decapitated.

ActionAid Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation working to eradicate poverty in Nigeria, has decried the alleged resolution by theNERC 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.

Read also: NERC, listen to electricity customers’ complaints

“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,” Obi said.

She also reminded the Federal Government that more “than a hundred million Nigerians are living below the poverty line.”

The NGO further suggested that instead of the 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 losses 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,” Obi said.

It is the belief of ActionAid that “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 power supply will obviously not be able to break even. To remain afloat; they will have to shift the burden of increased cost of production to the final consumers of their products and services in an economy already choked by inflation”.

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