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Stakeholders decry 300% electricity tariff hike

Some power experts have expressed their dissatisfaction with the 300 percent increase in electricity tariffs approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos, the experts lamented that such an increase would further burden electricity consumers across the nation.

NAN reports that the announcement of the tariff hike was made by Mr. Musiliu Oseni, the Vice Chairman of NERC, in Abuja on Monday.

Oseni clarified that the 300 percent increase would specifically impact Band A consumers, constituting only 15 percent of the total electricity customers nationwide.

As a result, power distribution companies (DisCos) will be permitted to raise electricity prices to N225 ($0.15) per kilowatt-hour, up from the previous rate of N68 for urban consumers, effective April 1.

Reacting to the development, Mr. Adeola Ilori, the National Coordinator of the All Electricity Consumers Protection Forum, condemned the sudden tariff hike, asserting that it was implemented without due process.

Ilori emphasised that the increase should have followed the prescribed procedures outlined in NERC’s regulatory directives, as mandated by law.

He said that the magnitude of the increase, purportedly a minor review, was like a major review, necessitating thorough scrutiny and consultation with all stakeholders.

Ilori hinted at potential legal action by the group to challenge the tariff hike, citing violations of the Electricity Act 2023 and consumer protection regulations.

Meanwhile, Mr. Lanre Elatuyi, an electricity market analyst, acknowledged the inevitability of the tariff increase, attributing it to fluctuations in the dollar and gas prices.

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Elatuyi explained that with the government unable to subsidise electricity for all consumers, the burden falls on those capable of bearing the actual cost of electricity, particularly Band A customers.

He stressed the importance of ensuring that Band A customers receive the promised hours of supply, urging strict adherence to service standards.

However, Mr. Chinedu Amah, founder of Spark Nigeria Ltd., raised concerns about the clarity and monitoring of the Band A classification, warning of potential exploitation if it is not properly defined and regulated.
(NAN)

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