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Afenifere demands reversal of electricity tariff hike



The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, on Saturday, urged President Bola Tinubu to reverse the latest increase in the electricity tariff hike.

The National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Wednesday announced an increase in electricity tariff for Band A customers in the country.

Customers in Band A enjoy an electricity supply for 20 hours per day.

The NERC Vice Chairman, Musiliu Oseni, who announced the increase at a media briefing in Abuja, said customers would now pay ₦225 kilowatts per hour, up from the current ₦66 following the development.

However, many Nigerians including former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the House of Representatives Minority Caucus, and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have condemned the increase in the electricity tariff hike and warned it would worsen the current hardship in the country.

In a statement issued by its spokesman, Jare Ajayi, the group lamented that the increase in the electricity tariff amounts to paying for inefficiency of the distribution companies (DisCoS) and would further compound the country’s economic challenges.

The statement read: “As the experience from the subsidy on petrol has shown, those who suffer from the government’s withdrawal of subsidy are not necessarily those who benefitted from it.

READ ALSO: NERC gives DisCoS April 11 deadline to refund wrongly billed customers

“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.

“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. This means 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.

“If the relevant government agencies are to be sincere with Nigerians, what they should do is to first ensure regular and efficient supply of electricity before acceding to increase in payment for services that are being poorly rendered.

“A rough calculation indicated that a person on Band A who was paying an average of N50,000 per month (on N68 per kWh) would now have to pay N170,000 for the same service. Note the increase!

“In conclusion, 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.”

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