The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has rejected planned hike of electricity Tarrif by December 1.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) recently announced the increase which has met with protests because of what consumers described as “abysmal power supply.”

Osita Okechukwu, publicity secretary, CNPP, reacting to the announcement, said, “The NERC, like an agency under a corrupt system, is covered by the law, which was ab initio tailored to suit the tenant instead of the children of the landlord.”

He raised questions whether the commission will ever approve a drop in electricity. “Otherwise, why is it that we will never experience downsizing of the tarrif, but upward review, regardless of poor electricity supply? Today, it is being jacked up because of the increase in the international price of gas and tomorrow another reason for increase like rate of inflation will be adduced as the reason for upward review of the tariff,” Okechukwu said.

“It is a vicious crisis and theatres of absurd symptomatic of an economy whose managers are either in self-denial or deliberately out to short change the citizenry. In sum, how do we explain that penultimate week N213 billion was pumped into this drain from public fund and the same citizenry that own the state owned enterprise privatized are not only being taxed, but cannot point to any project the money realized from the sale was used for,” he added.

NERC recently announced that the new gas price of $2.50/million British thermal unit (mmbtu) and transportation cost of $.80 would take effect from December, fulfilling the August prediction when the new gas price was first announced that electricity tariff in the country could be hiked before the year runs to an end.

Mohammed Bello, vice chairman of the commission, however, said that the new price regime would eventually lead to more supply of gas to power plants at a public consultation on the minor review of the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) II.

He said, though consumers complain of paying much for electricity while they are yet to see improvements, “this is the process by which power supply will improve.”

NERC had in June announced the last tariff review which increased energy cost from N1 to N5 for various distribution companies.

Folashade Olubayo
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