Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Electricity tariff increase ’ll create more difficulties for Nigerians — Atiku

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, on Friday, faulted the recent electricity tariff hike, saying the increment would create more difficulties for Nigerians.

Atiku said that while Nigerians were still dealing with the harsh effects of subsidy removal on petrol and floating the naira, the Federal Government still hiked the electricity tariff without considering the plights of the citizens.

It could be recalled that subsidy on electricity has been withdrawn completely from the tariff payable by power consumers in the Band A category, that constitutes about 15 per cent of the total number of power users across the country.

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The government, through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, announced the hike in the electricity bill on Wednesday, adding that those affected would now pay a tariff of N225 per kilowatt-hour, up from the previous rate of N68/kWh, representing about 240 per cent increase.

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But Atiku, in a series of tweets on his X account on Friday, faulted the move, saying the hike was without adequate notice.

He wrote, “As usual, the government is unleashing another dose of reforms without adequate notice and without an adequate post-reform plan to mitigate the pain.

“The increase in electricity tariff comes at a time when Nigerian citizens are going through excruciating difficulties occasioned by the withdrawal of subsidy on PMS and floating of the domestic currency.

“The government has not successfully dealt with the pains associated with the implementation of those measures, and now this. The hike in electricity tariff will create more difficulties for the citizens as inflationary pressures are elevated.

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“Our manufacturing sector will similarly be impacted negatively. Not only are they paying higher interest rates on their bank loans but also paying more for diesel, paying higher wages as a result of the new minimum wage. The President’s men are pushing the economy into a deeper crisis. His reforms are without a human face.

“It is important that we understand the root cause of the inefficiencies in the power sector before unleashing another dose of reforms. It is time to revisit the privatization exercise that produced the DISCOs.

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“Tinubu must (a) ensure that these reforms are sequenced, (b) implement measures to mitigate the pain, and (c) hold the NERC responsible for ensuring improved service delivery,”.

However, following the tariff hike, Lagos, Kano, and 10 other states have concluded plans to start generating power in their respective states in conformity with the Electricity Act 2023.

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