CSO’s Condemn, Reject FG’s 50% Electricity Hike

Source: Vanguard

FOLLOWING Federal Government’s New Year ‘gift’ through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, of 50 percent hike in electricity tariff effective from January 1, 2021, Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, Tuesday, condemned and rejected the increase in all ramifications.

Nigerians under the burden of OVID-19 crisis, we reject 50% tariff hike-Rafsanjani The Executive Director, Awual Ibrahim Rafsanjani, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, said, “It is a wrong time when Nigerians are battling with so many challenges of survival in Nigeria.

The Federal Government has a lot of areas where they could block leakages stop corruption and generate more revenue in Nigeria. This increase is not a welcomed development but an additional burden on Nigerians, and the government should reconsider it.

“So rather than over-taxing ordinary people by this increase of 50 percent while is obvious that there is no much to Nigerians’ income is a rather misplaced priority of raising government revenue.

“The second fundamental issue is that the Government has already privatized electricity so we don’t understand the rationale by the Federal Government for increasing this when they have already privatized it.

So This means the privatization that took place on electricity is not real privatization because if you privatize federal government should not have a hand in fixing or increasing the tariff.

“They can regulate and make sure suppliers supply sufficient electricity but we need to understand the involvement of this one now.

“The third thing is that Nigerians continue to pay for all these but they don’t get the expected power supply. So I think the government should begin to think and work for the interest of Nigerians. Nigerians are going through a lot of challenges on how to survive and coming to do this increase now is rather going to add another burden. “But is up to Nigerians to show their concern over this because some few of us have been canvassing and agitating for the betterment of Nigerians for improved governance but some people they don’t seem to know that some people are giving their lives, coming and sacrificing on behalf of all of us.

“But Nigerians should also wake up to know the pain that is going on with so many Nigerians that have no voices. In my opinion, these increases are rather not fair to many Nigerians, especially those Nigerians that have no illegal means to complement their survival.

“Those who remain with their legitimate income are finding it difficult but some people in government don’t even care about electricity because everything is provided free and that is why probably they don’t know the hardship people are going through. “So we call on the government to always take decisions in the best interest of Nigerians, especially the poor people who are struggling in this country.

They are struggling under this COVID-19 crisis, miserable poverty, insecurity, as well no access to essential services and commodities, nothing is provided as support for Nigerian people now yet huge resources in the name of Nigerians are being wasted, diverted, embezzled, and stolen.

“I think it is important that our leaders at local and national levels have a rethink and reflect to do things for the betterment of this country. This is my appeal and advice to the government.”

Poorly timed, power should be readily available first-Ibrahim

The National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Arc Kabir Ibrahim, said, “It is quite poorly timed even though somewhat realistic to ensure greater efficiency. “I will advise Government to give these matters latitude before implementation even though I recall that it was contemplated earlier on in 2020. “If it leads to any protests it will require the people to be appeased through the enactment of some form of reliefs or palliatives. Power must be readily available for there to be any hike in its price.”

The Chairman of Non-oil Exporters in Nigeria, Chief Ede Dafinone, said, “The 50 percent hike is an unexpected increase especially given the 50 percent increase done in Q4 last year.

“Firstly, I’m presuming this is a 50 percent increase on top of the earlier increase which takes us to a 125 percent increase on the tariff rate as at this time last year. Bearing in mind that power costs generally constitute between 10 to 20 percent of production costs these further squeezes the margins of a manufacturing sector already facing higher costs and lower demand for products following on from one of the worst years for turnover in a long while for most manufacturers.

“Secondly, while the increase is likely to affect consumers as well as manufacturers, the impact on consumers is likely to marginally affect disposable incomes and thus demand our locally manufactured goods.

“Thirdly, as manufacturers, we appreciate that government requires higher levels of revenue to fund a budget that will serve to reconstruct the economy we are equally mindful that government’s funds for the reconstruction of the economy are best apportioned to save the manufacturers who oftentimes create employment by adding value to local raw materials. “In a time of reconstruction, the government would be best advised to protect the manufacturing sector but not by increasing local costs and then offering palliatives to these same manufacturers.”

50% electricity increase spells doom for production-Dama

The 50 per cent increase in electricity tariffs is coming again at a very wrong time. It will have a terrible high effect on our production costs. It is even rather very unfortunate because energy is not even available in some areas of our operations as lots of millers and rice processors depend on electricity for production.

“This may lead to high prices of goods and services in the country particularly from companies who are involved in the manufacturing and production processes. Definitely, there will be inflation with a high price increase on goods and services. Again with the opening of Nigerian borders foreign goods smuggled into the country will land cheaper into our country and you know people will rather go for cheaper products coming from abroad than patronize expensive products since the tariffs increase has to be reflected on goods and services to break even.

“The implications will be that lots of Nigerian manufacturing and processing factories will close the show because of lack of patronage or inability to sale their products because of high prices on their products. “This will lead to retrenchment in the workforce while we will be exporting or creating labour for our competitors abroad who have an efficient and reliable power supply to produce and export goods to our country. Manufacturing and processing factories will not be the same again.

Generally the economy will suffer once again in this period of recession. “I really can’t say if this can lead to any protests it depends on how government handle it’s communication to Nigerians on this increase.

Also, the labour force will they want to lead protests on this matter. Maybe there will be negotiations with palliatives that might not reach all. May God deliver this country.”

It’s uncalled for-Edegba

The National Coordinator, Concern Nigeria Development Youth organization, CNYDO, Joel Edegba, said, “It is very uncalled for! The citizens are already going through a lot before now. So the FG should not add to the suffering of the masses.  I support the second wave of protest in the country if that will make the Federal Government reconsider this hike in electricity tariff.

FG’s tariff increase is saddening- Friday

The National Coordinator, Grassroots Empowerment and Justice, GEJ Initiative, Comrade Ebriku John Friday, said, “The hike coming up at this time of the year is to say the least saddening and most unfortunate. “It is baffling why the Federal Government continues to hurt the sensibilities of Nigeria’s unfriendly and alien policies and get away with it. “It is a harsh decision and Nigerians must reject it and push until it is returned back to the status quo.

“This is a new year for God’s sake, many Nigerians who travelled are even yet to return to base and we all know how difficult the beginning of a new year is to ordinary Nigerians. “As I have said before, Nigerians will be willing to pay for light if the government provides meters, and provide stable electricity and not the poor and pitiable situation of electricity we are faced with today. “It is not over to the NLC and other civil society groups to shutdown Nigerian since that is the only language the government hears.

“My advice government at all levels should stop being insensitive to the plight of Nigerians.”

Electricity tariff hike bad taste for Nigerians in a New Year-Ndu

The Founder, Peoples Movement for a New Nigeria, PMNN, Yahaya Ndu, said, “What is there to be said except the obvious, which is that it is in bad taste, at a wrong time and full of insensitivity. “It is beggars’ belief that while Governments all-over the world is doing everything within their powers to make life easier for their citizens, the Nigerian Government is busy doing the exact opposite.

“As for my advice, the government should immediately reverse this wrong decision.”

Nigerians may hit the streets in protest-Jakpor

Director of Programmes, CAPPA, Philip Jakpor, said, “It is very unfortunate that the current administration, through its flip flop policies continues to make life difficult for the ordinary Nigerian. “The 50 per cent hike in electricity tariff will have a negative ripple effect on virtually every sector that depends on electricity.

You will agree with me that manufacturing and other key sectors are hinged on power. Ironically, the increase in electricity tariff just like previous hikes does not mean there will be adequate electricity.

“Nigeria’s power generation has not climbed beyond 10,000MW of which distribution is an abysmally low 5,000MW at its peak. It is an ill-advised policy and Nigerians may be forced to hit the streets again to demand a halt to the policy moving forward.”

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