ActionAid Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation seeking to eradicate poverty, has urged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to renege on its plan to increase electricity tariff.
NERC had directed the 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to increase their tariffs today. ActionAid Nigeria said the increase would erode the purchasing power of workers in formal and informal sectors and further impoverish the citizenry.
Country Director, Ene Obi, in a statement in Abuja, said the increase is not only ill-timed but insensitive to the plight of Nigerians, whose lean disposable incomes are already decapitated.
She said: “ActionAid’s position is hinged on the premise that previous hikes 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.
“We urge NERC to rescind this decision and ensure that the Nigerian electricity supply industry improves its performance before considering a tariff increase.
“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.”
ActionAid Nigeria, therefore, called on the NERC and the Federal Government to halt the planned increment and uphold transparency, fairness and accountability by ensuring continuous consultation with the masses, while protecting consumer rights.
Similarly, the Coalition for Affordable and Regular Electricity (CARE), Oyo State chapter, condemned the proposed hike in a statement by Convener, Akinbodunshe Shadrack and Co-Convener Ayodeji Adigun.
It said the hike is not necessary at this time when Nigerians are still struggling to cope with the adverse effects of socio-economic dislocations occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and pre-existing economic crisis.
It said: “Previous electricity tariff hikes have not translated into any significant improvement in electricity supply and availability. Supply remains epileptic, while majority of working people are forced by DisCos to pay heavily for darkness.”
The group demanded an immediate reversal and called on the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to commence mobilisation of Nigerians for mass protest.
Meanwhile, Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc, (BEDC), yesterday, announced the demise of its Head of Corporate Affairs Unit, Mr. Adekunle Anthony Tayo. The late Tayo passed away in the early hours of Saturday, August 28, 2021, after a brief illness.
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