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ActionAid seeks halt to new proposed power tariff

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ActionAid Country Director, Ene Obi


ActionAid Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation, has decried the alleged resolution by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) directing the 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to increase their tariffs from Wednesday (today), September 1, 2021.

The group stated that an increase in electricity tariff will further erode the purchasing power of Nigerian workers in formal and informal sectors and will further impoverish more Nigerians.

Their position was made known in Abuja, yesterday, by its Country Director, Ms. Ene Obi. She said: “The increase in electricity tariff is not only ill-timed but insensitive to the precarious 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.”

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Obi also reminded the Federal Government “that more than 100 million Nigerians are living below the poverty line.”

It advised that instead of the tariff hike, NERC should compel all the actors in Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) to ensure increased efficiency in the power sector including managing energy losses to make erratic power supply a thing of the past as a way of boosting productivity and Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“We urge NERC to rescind this decision and ensure that NESI improves its performance before considering a tariff increase,” it added.

It further warned that if the decision is not reconsidered, the cost of production of basic items produced in the country would increase and this might also lead to job losses in the already ailing medium and small-scale industries in Nigeria.

“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,” Obi said.

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