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Electricity Tariff Hike Will Compound Nigeria’s Economic Hardship, Says Atiku 

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Council (NERC) jacked up the tariff for Band A consumers - those who enjoy at least 20 hours daily supply of power - as part of moves to stop the payment of subsidy on electricity. 


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(FILES) Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar. Photo: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun

 

Atiku Abubakar has joined the growing list of critics faulting the Federal Government’s hike in electricity tariff and believes the move further compounds the citizens’ economic difficulties. 

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Council (NERC) days ago jacked up the tariff for Band A consumers – those who enjoy at least 20 hours daily supply of power – as part of moves to stop the payment of subsidy on electricity.

But Atiku, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain who was the party’s presidential candidate in last year’s election, says the move will further compound the economic woes of a country battling surging inflation levels pegged at 31.70 per cent.

READ ALSO: Electricity Tariff Hike Affects Only 1.5 Million Customers Nationwide, Says FG

‘Without a Human Face’

“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,” Atiku wrote on his X handle on Friday evening.

“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.

“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.”

He argued that the rise in tariffs won’t solve the challenges of the sector.

“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,” the former vice president said.

“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.”