Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has decried the recent increase in electricity tariffs as Nigerians grapple with the negative impact of the COVID-19 lockdown.
President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the implementation of the cost-reflective electricity tariff for the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) in August and it kicked off on Tuesday. It is expected to be reviewed quarterly.
The new tariff regime proposes an upwardly adjusted tariff for customers who are not averse to paying more to enjoy longer hours of electricity supply, standard voltage profile and faster fault clearance timeliness.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had clarified that the regime would exempt the “most vulnerable” customers consuming 50KW or less and customers on estimated billing will not be affected.
The commission also noted that customers receiving less than 12 hours of supply would not experience any change in tariffs.
In a tweet via his verified Twitter handle on Thursday, Atiku rejected the increased tariffs.
The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2019 described the move as “impetuous disregard” for the challenges Nigerians are facing.
He further described it as “ill-time and “ill-advised”.
“I reject the increased electricity tariffs,” Atiku tweeted.
“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.”
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.
— Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) September 3, 2020