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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Nigerians to pay more for darkness

Nigerians to pay more for darkness

By Bisi Olominu
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The Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof. James Momoh said the Commission was ready to present the market fundamentals that resulted in the tariff hike to its opposers.

Momoh, who spoke to reporters said: “If any customer or NLC (Nigeria Labour Congress) comes, we will show them how we did it. And I am sure they (NLC) will show the customers how we did it to understand us.”.

The NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba had on July 16, warned the commission against any tariff hike.

The labour leader insisted that the hardship in the country was already unbearable that the congress was not ready to tolerate an increase in electricity tariff in the country.

He said: “On our part, anything that will add cost to the consumers at this point in time, certainly, as a consumer and somebody that represents a large constituency, we will not be able to bear the cost.”

He said the electricity distribution companies (DisCos) were defrauding consumers with fraudulent and unsubstantiated estimated bills.

For too long Nigerians have been paying for darkness. They have completely lost faith in the electricity providers,  instead of enjoying what they are paying for, the providers have been adding sorrow to their pains. Power failure daily disrupt business and there have been communities in the last 10 years that have not enjoyed electricity for one hour.

The completion of the privatisation of the power sector in 2013 had raised much hope about power supply, but this has not happened and people are living in darkness, paying through their noses on monthly basis for power not used.

Since the advent of democracy in Nigeria, expenditure on power sector has been on the increase. Obasanjo’s administration spent N374.65billion, Yar’ Adua spent N442.4billion, Jonathan government spent, N293billion, and so far under the present government N900 billion. Despite the huge amount, nothing concrete has been achieved in the power sector, yet the regulating body wants to increase tariff.

Speaking with Mr. Sunday Olaiya on the proposed tariff increment, he said only a wicked and insane person will  increase the woes of Nigerians at this terrible time. According to him, what most Nigerians are going through presently are enormous, adding to them will show that the present government is callous, wicked and unconcerned about the present hardship going on in the country.

” Increase in electricity tariff will be wicked and another avenue to increase the pains of Nigerians who are going through harrowing experiences. Many could not eat well again, many could not pay their children’s school fees, many projects have been abandoned and people are really suffering.

”Insurgency in the land has made many to leave their farms and many of the farmsteads have been destroyed by the Fulani  herdsmen. Only a non sensitive leader will like to add more to our sorrow in the land. This is not what we bargained for in this country”.

Also speaking on the issue, a trader, Mrs. Jumoke Adesina called on Nigerians to resist the move, stressing that government should be more concerned about taking the country out of the present mess.

According to her, Nigerians have never had it so rough like this, as people are suffering in a land flowing with milk and honey and the only thing the present government is thinking about is to increase electricity tariff.

Her words:” It is not funny to me that we are going through this honey and rough path in Nigeria. Our economy is good  for those in government for they have money to spend. They have all cornered our money and they are living in affluence, they have not done anything tangible since, reason they want to inflict more pains on Nigerians”

” Here is a government finding it so difficult to pay N30,000 new minimum wage to workers but had paid N38 million to those in the National Assembly who are just there to support the motion and some are even there to sleep. What justification does the electricity regulator has to increase tariff in the country? Is it on light that people cannot enjoy for 24hours? Is it on companies being powered by generators instead of regular electricity? I think the blind can see that nothing is working in the country, so, therefore increasing electricity tariff will be another exploitation in the country”.

While expressing her view, a student, Miss Toyin Akingbola berated the government for being insensitive to the plight of people in the country. According to her, many are going through nasty experience in the country, reason some have devised method like kidnapping to survive in the country.

She noted that adding more plight to already compounded loads of the people will have snowball effect on Nigerians.

Her words: ” Where is the electricity the regulator wants to increase its tariff  in the first instance? A country that could not attain 10,000 megawatts but continuing dismal performance in electricity generation is glaring could not but find another means to shore up its revenue. The government should know that there is suffering in the land, reason students are paying their tuition fees twice, even at this, some could not pay. Our parents have been overstretched to elastic limit, and it has come to the time that the present government should stop this unjustified, unthinkable and unrealistic tariff increment”.

In the opinion of Mr Tajudeen Aribisala, the proposed tariff increment amount to unyielding and draconic way of the present government imposing its will on the people without thinking about it.

It is glaring that since independence, the most populous black nation in the world, whether under the military and civilian administration has suffered and still suffering from leadership indifference to people’s plight in the country, he noted.

” Nigeria leaders have no insufficient commitment to address policy challenges, reason a Minister of Power powering his house with generator and finding no solution to electricity generation in the country. Nigeria has gone full cycle in its adoption of many policies, but those in power will not allow them to work. How would they allow them to work when they have companies selling generators across the country. How would they allow those policies to work when they sold the electricity companies to their cronies. One day will be one day as the government action will reach a boiling point and Nigerians will react.

” People are already despodent in the country, many people have nothing to do in the country, many graduates are roaming the streets, artisans could not get jobs again, and the only thing the government is planning to do is to increase electricity tariff, this will have spiral effect on Nigerians who have already reached boiling point.

Aribisala called on government to immediately stop the idea and concentrate more on how to increase power generation in the country.

In the perspective of Pa Adewole Adeola, the present government has no justification to increase electricity tariff in the country because what it has given Nigerians is total darkness. He claimed in his area, electricity supplied is not up to one hour in two days.

” If the government wants to increase electricity tariff, then God will judge. It is only God that can safe us in this country”.

The Hope Owena Press
The Hope Owena Presshttp://www.thehopenewspaper.com
Owena Press Limited (Publisher of The Hope Newspaper), Akure

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