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ActionAid calls for suspension of hike in electricity tariff

ActionAid Nigeria has called on the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to halt the planned electricity tariff increment.

It also urged the NERC to uphold its values of transparency, fairness, and accountability by ensuring continuous consultation with the masses while protecting consumers’ rights

Mrs Ene Obi, Country Director of the Non-Governmental Organisation, made the call in a statement made available to newsmen in Lokoja.

She decried the alleged resolution of NERC directing the 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) in the country to increase their tariffs from Sept. 1.

Obi said the increment would further erode the purchasing power of Nigerian workers in formal and informal sectors and impoverish more Nigerians.

“The increase in electricity tariff is not only ill-timed but insensitive to the plight of Nigerians whose lean disposable incomes are already decapitated.

“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,” she said.

The Country Director said instead of the tariff hike, NERC should compel all actors in Nigerian electricity supply industry to ensure efficiency in the power sector.

This, according to her, should include managing energy loses to make erratic power supply a thing of the past as a way of boosting productivity and Nigeria’s GDP.

“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 in the country will increase and this may also lead to job losses.

“Investors who rely largely on power supply will obviously not be able to break even.

“To remain afloat, they will have to shift the burden of increased cost of production to the final consumers of their products and services in an economy already choked by inflation,” she said.

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