The steep poverty level an immense number of Nigerians live in, and the minimal steps set up to combat that reality means that a hike in the already financially constraining electricity tariff being paid will only lead us into more financial duress.
Considering the unstable supply of electricity that continues to underserve the energy needs of revenue generators across the country and the fluid running of domestic activities, there is no clear indication as to how a hike would improve things as there has barely been anything to show for the investment made previously.
Our electricity supply system suffers from a wonky distribution process where in many cases, customers pay disproportionate amounts of money for almost nothing and it is curious why the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) isn’t pushing to revamp the system and of course, improve the level of electricity for Nigerians but make strenuous financial demands on citizens who already have to make provisions for the most basic needs that ought to have been taken care of by the state.
The new tariffs which would almost double the current charges are not only impractical for a country where light bills are a struggle to pay and the provision of the power itself, unreliable. For SMEs and other small businesses that literally depend on generators to ensure their business runs smoothly despite having to pay for electricity; this would be a big blow and a reminder of how the ecosystem keeps failing them.
These new tariffs will not set-in until April and we hope, with the call outs and public disapproval it has received that it would be reconsidered for more effective input into our wonky electricity supply hub.