Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has condemned the increase in the electricity tariff in the country, saying that such policy implementation was ill-timed and ill-advised.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that an increase in the electricity tariff, approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, had taken effect September 1, coming barely three months after the National Assembly halted the move.
Posting on his Facebook page on Thursday, Mr Abubakar condemned the increase, saying that it should not have come at a time when many Nigerians were still struggling to get over the effect of the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, during the 2019 general elections, added that many Nigerians had not earned any income for months, due to no fault of theirs.
He wrote: “I reject the increased electricity tariffs.
“Coming out of the lockdown, Nigerians need a stimulus, not an impetuous disregard for the challenges they face.
“Many Nigerians have not earned an income for months, due to no fault of theirs. This increase is ill-timed and ill-advised.”
Meanwhile, a NERC document on Tuesday showed that electricity customers, except those receiving less than 12 hours of supply, would have to pay more for electricity starting from September 1.
According to the document, the new tariff is based on the hours of electricity supply available to the customers.
Customers are categorised into maximum demand and non-maximum demand customers, as against the previous categories of residential, commercial and industrial customers, with different bands (A to E) depending on the level of supply.
For Ikeja Electric, a residential customer on single-phase receiving a minimum of 12 hours of supply will now pay N42.73 per KWh, up from N21.30 per kWh.
For Eko Electricity Distribution Company, a residential customer on single-phase receiving a minimum of 12 hours of supply will now pay N43.01 per kWh, up from N24 per kWh.
For Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, a residential customer on single-phase receiving between 12 to 16 hours of supply will now be charged N45.69 per KWh, up from N24.30 per kWh.
Kaduna Electric announced on Twitter on Monday night that non-MD receiving between 12 and 16 hours will be charged N50.10 per KWh, adding that the tariffs for customers receiving less than 12 hours had been temporarily frozen.
“Following consultations and directions on tariff policy, the commission hereby approves a deferment of the applicable tariffs for customers in service bands D and E (that is customers with a service commitment of less than an average of 12 hours supply per day over a period of one month) for the period September 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021,” NERC said.
It said the Discos would only be allowed to charge those customers the new tariffs upon investments that improve the quality of service experience, “thus migrating customers to higher service bands or another order of the commission.”