A new year may be upon us, but Nigeria’s trials and tribulations remain the same as a country. The new naira bank notes are still not in full circulation yet, and queues at filling stations are gradually becoming the new norm. And now, to top it all up, notwithstanding the current state of our crippling economy, electricity distribution companies (DisCos) decided to increase the price of tariffs by over 17% quietly.
What exactly went down?
A few days ago, some electricity consumers around the country drew attention to the fact that there has been a price of electricity tariffs. For instance, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) changed its tariff price from ₦57.55 to ₦68.2, so rather than getting 34 units for ₦2000, you’d be getting 29. When complaints were filed to the AEDC, they responded by simply saying the change was in compliance with an order from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
Why did NERC increase the tariff price?
According to the NERC’s Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO), tariff prices and rates are subject to change and review relative to economic factors like inflation, exchange rates and generation capacity. However, the issue here is that perhaps to avoid public outrage, no announcement was made to tell people about these changes. It’s almost like Nigerians are cursed to see an endless cycle of shege from every sector of the country.
What has the government said so far?
On January 5, 2023, the minister of state for power, Goddy Jedy-Agba, was in a meeting with the National Union of Electricity Employees (NNEE). When asked about the recent hike in tariff, he surprisingly denied knowledge of it. Instead, he asked Nigerians to speak with the NERC chairman.
So, once again, it looks like we’re on our own.