June 14, 2024

The Daily Vendor

Nigeria Digital Newspaper

FG Under Fire Over 300% New Electricity Tariff Hike

4 min read

The federal government has come under heavy criticisms following recent commencement of implementation of the new Electricity Tariff.

A notice issued by the federal government last month said in furtherance to the April 2024 Supplementary Multi-Year Tariff Order, the Federal Government had effective from the 3rd of April, 2024, directed an upward tariff adjustment of N225 per kilowatt of electricity for customers on Service Band A.

The new tariff represents over 300 percent increase on the initial charge for a kilowatt of electricity which was put at N68.

Reacting to the development, residents of Anambra State described it as government’s insensitivity to the plight of the suffering Nigerian masses. 

A social critic, Okwuchukwu Benson said the implementation of the new tariff for electricity is worrisome because the categories mostly affected are the industries.

He said, “At a time in the country, when we need industries to spring up and produce products that we can export as a way of strengthening the Naira, at the same time, we are increasing the electricity charge. 

“It does not tell well of the claims by the government that it wants to lift the economy. The effect will be there on the industries because they will begin to suffer. 

“When the industries cannot get electricity at a cheaper rate, it will make their cost of production very high and unaffordable to the people and when they cannot sell, they close up. 

“Again, because the industries here are competing with their contemporaries in other developed countries, if the products can be imported at a lower rate, then we all know that our local industries here cannot survive. 

“So, I believe this is a wrong move and the government should not remove the subsidy on electricity.”

Another citizen, Princewill Okoye posited; “What worries some of us is the fact that Nigeria supplies electricity to neighboring countries like Niger. I don’t know at what rate, but we should be able to feed ourselves first before we think of feeding another. 

“I urge the federal government to reverse that decision, otherwise as we are still battling the high exchange rate, we may have another bigger situation in our hands if the industries here begin to shut down. 

“Even the Small and Medium Scale businesses that oil the engine of the economy may also begin to close down and this would be disastrous for the economy.”

For a civil servant, Daniel Okafor, the review simply shows that the Federal Government does not want the people to survive.

“This is a country where the minimum wage collected by civil servants today is lesser than what they were collecting in 2024 when converted to dollars. 

“They have been playing with the poor masses for many years, just for them to wake up to increase the tariff from 68 naira to N225, the fourth time since last year January that they are increasing the tariff.

“Another major issue is that many homes do not even see this electricity. So, let the government begin to think about the poor masses and our citizens must also rise to the responsibility of ensuring that only leaders who are people-centric are elected,” he said.

However, when contacted, Spokesperson of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, Mr Emeka Eze, explained that the adjustment does not apply to all categories of customers but specifically those on Service Band A, who enjoy a daily minimum of 20 hours of electricity supply.

According to him, the tariff for customers on Service Bands B to E remains frozen.

“What this review implies is that customers affected are those within service Band A, that is those who enjoy from the service band level and categories that we have, up to 20 hours of power supply daily. 

“Customers within Bands B to E are not affected and as a result, their tariff is frozen, which means that they will continue to pay what they have been paying,” he explained.

Noting that many customers are expressing concerns over the review without understanding what it implies, Eze said very soon, they will be uploading the feeders that are under Band A on their website so that they will be able to know where they fall under. 

“Even before now, in your bills and receipts, you will see in the column of customer category, where you belong. The regulator is also interested in seeing that this new review is sustained and complied with. 

“As a result, they have set up measures to monitor the process and have instructed the Distribution Companies to publish daily, the hours of availability allotted to these feeders. 

“So daily, customers will be seeing this information on our websites and when there are shortfalls, the DISCOs will be made to augment. 

“The whole idea is to ensure that customers within these bands get value for what they are paying for,” he said.

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