The NLC pleads with the FG to stop a 40% electricity tariff hike, scheduled for July 1, 2023, highlighting its detrimental effects on consumers, especially the economically vulnerable.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is urging the Federal Government to halt the planned 40% hike in electricity tariffs scheduled to commence on July 1, 2023.
Callous and Insensitive: The Proposed Electricity Tariff Hike The NLC denounces this potential hike as both callous and insensitive, shedding light on the dire ramifications this move could have on consumers, particularly those least equipped to handle such financial strain.
Insufficient Service Delivery: A Thorn in the Consumers’ Side
The NLC cites various alarming issues, key among them being insufficient service delivery.
Despite a range of support, service providers have not yet met the 5000 megawatts (MW) threshold, a shortcoming that leaves many consumers in the dark—literally and figuratively.
The Threat of Covert Tariff Increases
Additionally, the NLC expresses its worry over covert tariff increases happening without any prior announcement—a move that not only breaches regulations but also indicates a worrying lack of oversight.
This unpredictability could saddle consumers with new, higher rates as early as August 2023.
The Domino Effect: Hardships for Ordinary Nigerians
The NLC also paints a concerning picture of the aftermath of the tariff increase.
As businesses and other entities adapt their prices or rates to keep up with the new tariff, the ordinary Nigerian citizens will bear the brunt of these financial pressures, leading to extreme hardship.
Socioeconomic Safeguards: Nigeria’s Missing Link
In its plea, the NLC outlines a grim scenario where every Nigerian seems to be fending for themselves, with scant regard for others.
They draw attention to the numerous other costs and tariffs that Nigerians have to contend with, including rising school fees in tertiary institutions and increases in privately-owned establishments.
The Hobbesian Nightmare: Life in Nigeria
Reflecting on these escalating costs and the looming tariff increase, life in Nigeria is taking on a Hobbesian nature—solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
In stark contrast, market economies, which the market fundamentalists seek to emulate, have robust socio-economic safeguards in place, a luxury Nigeria does not currently possess.
The Plea for Collective Safety
Given this precarious state of affairs, the NLC advises the government to shelve the proposed electricity tariff hike, arguing that this act of compassion would contribute to the nation’s collective safety.
An Inside Look: The Q1 2023 Electricity Report
The Q1 2023 Electricity Report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveals some interesting figures.
The number of metered customers in Nigeria rose to 5.31 million during this period—a significant increase suggesting preparation for impending tariff adjustments.
Revenue Boost for Distribution Companies
In contrast, distribution companies have witnessed a substantial revenue boost, collecting N247.33 billion in the highlighted period, a growth of 20.81% compared to the first quarter of 2022.
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What is the proposed electricity tariff increase?
The Federal Government plans to implement a 40% electricity tariff increase starting July 1, 2023.
Why is the NLC opposing this increase?
The NLC is opposing the increase on the grounds that it’s insensitive and harmful to consumers, particularly those in economically vulnerable situations.
What are the concerns raised by the NLC about service providers?
The NLC criticizes service providers for their failure to meet the 5000 megawatts threshold, despite receiving various forms of support.
What is the NLC’s view on the socio-economic situation in Nigeria?
The NLC believes that Nigeria lacks sufficient socio-economic safeguards, resulting in increasing hardship for ordinary Nigerians.
What is the significance of the Q1 2023 Electricity Report?
The report indicates an increase in the number of metered customers and a significant revenue boost for distribution companies, suggesting preparations for impending tariff adjustments.