The Nigerian Consumers Protection Network (NCPN), has condemned reports of a planned major increase in the electricity tariff, describing it as unacceptable.
The NCPN President, Kunle Kola
Olubiyo, who is also a member of the Presidential ad-hoc Committee on Review of Electricity Tariff in Nigeria, in an open letter addressed to the Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Engr. Sanusi Garba, appealed to the Commission to desist from any plan to raise the electricity tariff.
There have been concerns owing to the speculations that there might be another major hike in the electricity tariff, with effect from July.
However, the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, on Friday had dismissed the speculations, stating otherwise.
According to him, Nigerians should instead expect an increase efficiency in the power sector which will reduce the tariff.
The Nigerian Consumers Protection Network (NCPN) described the purported increase in electricity tariff by the NERC as “ill advised and unacceptable”, given the fact that there was a recent increase in the electricity tariff.
Recall that the NERC had increased the electricity tariff in September 2020, but was initially suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari after dialogue with relevant stakeholders.
However, in November, the tariff was eventually implemented.
Recall also that in January the NERC reportedly approved 50% increase in the electricity tariff, however, NERC debunked the rumors while stating that the rates for service bands A,B,C,D and E were only adjusted by N2.00 to N4.00 Kilowatt per hour (KWhr).
Meanwhile, Olubiyo stated the latest speculation is an “Elitist Conspiracy carefully packaged in forms of unreasonable arbitrary incessant upward reviews of electricity, an economic albatross calculated to send all of us back to our villages if nothing urgently is done to halt the trajectory of these negative drift.”
He also urged the Federal Government to address the bloated tariff by closing the gaps between official exchange rates and the parallel market resulting in huge debt burden and needless Market Shortfalls, the burden been loaded into Padded Cost of Electricity Tariff.
According to him, the recent increase in tariff has affected several homes, offices, business outlets, hotels, among others in the country, as “Nigerians have stop using Air Conditioners, Micro Waves ,Water Heater and Basic Household Equipment that are taken for granted in other climes.”
The letter partly reads, “The timing of another increase in Electricity Tariff in Nigeria is ill advised and unacceptable to Electricity Consumers / all Classes of Electricity End Users in Nigeria.
“We had expected that the Regulator would have allowed the impact of the January 2021 Major Tariff Increase to settle down.
“The 1st September, 2020 Major Review which was giving a backing in January, 2021 which has literally translated into 120% – 200% increase in some places is yet to settle down.
“In several homes, offices , business outlets , hotels etc, Nigerians have stop using Air Conditioners, Micro Waves ,Water Heater and Basic Household Equipment that are taken for granted in other climes.
“Government needs to listen to us as End Users in line with Global Best Practices and as a way of deepening Nigerian Government’s commitments and further demonstrates her favourably disposition to Global Core Values of Good Governance Indexes and at the same time entrenched an Inclusive Democracy and Participatory Open Society.
“The present trajectory which is the contemplation of another major upward review of electricity tariff in Nigeria is the most embarrassing elitist conspiracy and a calculated attempts to give the present Leadership of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari’s Government a Bad name.
“The question is, of what value is the last increase in the Electricity Tariff to Nigerians , End Users of Electricity and the Nigerian Economy?
“The much celebrated Tariff Reflective Tariff in most cases based on feedback Nation wide, has instigated Poor Quality of Power Supply and a glaringly undisputable Celebrated Decrease in EFFICIENT SERVICE DELIVERY AS AGAINST SERVICE REFLECTIVE TARIFF EMBEDDED with a desired increased in Services and increase in Load Generation.
“In reality and sadly, the end results of the recent increase in Electricity Tariff in Nigeria has been a decline in Improvement in Load Despatch, Low Load Wheeling and by a grossly mal-functional Obsolete Transmission Infrastructure, low Load Utilization and persistently Load Rejection by the Downstream (DisComs).
“Between the 1st of September ,2020 to date , the plights of Nigerians and the predicament of End Users can best be described as totally horrific.
“It has been a case of Fixiatives and Stereotypes Blame Game between generation Sub Sector, Transmission Sub Sector and Distribution Sub Sector of the Nigerian Electricity Grid Value Chain.
“The Trajectory is no doubt heading to an
“ECONOMIC STRANGULATION of the Nation’s Economy and the Citizenry, if no surgical recalibration of the system is done.
“These Elitist Conspiracy carefully packaged in forms of unreasonable arbitrary incessant upward reviews of electricity , an economic albatross calculated to send all of us back to our villages if nothing urgently is done to halt the trajectory of these negative drift.
“The Input used in arriving at the present Electricity Tariff in the first place, is Fraudulent.
“Padded, over Bloated, self-centered and skewed in favour of the Buduas and Energy Cartel and a declaration of Economic War ( Economic Banditry or An Economic Gorillas’ war on the poor masses!!!
“At Independence, and pre independence , the Quest for Independence of Nigeria was not targeted at having a country for the rich or few privileged elites alone.
“The Independence fought by the 1st Runners and our Nation’s Fore Fathers was for us to have in place, an all inclusive Nation for the Rich , Poor, Middle Class, Down trodden and what have you.
“Historical antecedents has proven that previous exercise are unwittingly structured or designed to exclude the Demand Side of the Electricity Market where you have the Off takers / End Users.
“This is a drift to perdition and a distortions to the individuals’ wellbeing of Patriotic Nigerians and economic wellbeing of the Nation.
“Government should also close the gaps between official exchange rates and the parallel market resulting in huge debt burden and needless Market Shortfalls, the burden been loaded into Padded Cost of Electricity Tariff.”