The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, has rejected the purported increase in the cost of electricity consumption, saying that the action will increase the sufferings of Nigerians especially when the citizens are yet to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CISLAC Executive Director, Auwal Musa-Rafsanjani, who made this known while speaking with the Vanguard, said the increase was done at the wrong time when Nigerians are battling with so many challenges of survival in the country.
Mr Rafsanjani, therefore, called on the Federal Government to begin to think and work for the interest of Nigerians.
He said: “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.”