Nigerians have reacted to the new electricity tariff announced by the federal government, describing it as anti-people.
The 11 electricity distribution companies (DisCos) have the mandate of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to effect the tariff increase from April.
Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) residential customers R3 will now pay N47.09 per unit as against the current N27.20, while Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) customers in R3 category will pay N36.92 per unit instead of N26.50. Commercial customers C3 category will start paying N38.14 per unit instead of N24.63 and industrial customers of the IKEDC D3 category who are currently paying N25.82 per unit will henceforth pay N35.85 per unit.
Chinedu Bosah, National Coordinator, Coalition of Affordable and Regular Electricity (CARE) said the action stands condemned because it was yet another way of impoverishing the masses.
According to him, “We’re condemning it on the basis that the working masses are already overburdened. They are not considering the plight of the masses. They are relying on the inflation rate being given by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).”
“What we are demanding for is for them to reverse it.
This increase will only provide opportunity for the Discos, Gencos and to profiteer at the detriment of the working masses,” he stressed.
The increase in tariff is coming at a time the majority of Nigerians are displeased with the poor and epileptic supply from the Discos. The national grid collapses at will, disrupting socio-economic activities.
Many households cannot afford to store food items in freezers while commercial and industrial companies spend huge sums to generate their own power, resulting in high production costs.
Only last week, residents of Yenagoa stormed the streets to protest a blackout that left them without electricity for about 10 days.
Angry youths besieged the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company to drive home their grievances. The power company insisted it was struggling with a shortfall due to unpaid bills totaling running into billions of naira. Power output currently hovers around 4,000 megawatts.