By John Ikani
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has attributed the hike in electricity tariff to “standard operations,” stressing that the it does not consider rising poverty among Nigerians.
Speaking on the issue, NERC’s spokesman Shaibu Shittu, stated, “As a commission, what we normally do is to do the standard operations.”
Shittu comments comes just days after NERC directed 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to increase their tariff effect from 1st September 2021.
In September 2020, NERC designed the Service Based Tariff (SBT) programme which will take effect in September 2021.
The SBT was implemented to stop electricity subsidy by the government and allow the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) generate more funds to finance the power sector.
Meanwhile, the Coalition for Affordable and Regular Electricity (CARE), Oyo chapter, has kicked against the proposed upward review of electricity tariff by NERC.
CARE, in a statement jointly signed by its conveners, Akinbodunshe Shadrack and Ayodeji Adigun, on Tuesday, condemned the proposed hike in the electricity tariff effective from September 1.
The group said it “rejects both the approval of the new tariff hike and the subsequent directive by the NERC”.
It pointed out that “this tariff hike at a time when the mass of the Nigerian working people are still struggling to cope with the adverse effects of socio-economic dislocations” occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the pre-existing economic crisis “is inhuman.”
CARE argued that it did not see any justification for a new hike in electricity tariff, given that the previous electricity tariff increment has not translated into “any significant improvement in the electricity supply and its availability.”
“Instead, the electricity supply remains epileptic while the mass majority of the working people are forced by DISCOs to pay heavily for darkness,” the group’s statement claimed.