The 36 state governors have given their backing to the Nigerian Energy Regulatory Commission to increase electricity tariff. This decision was taken yesterday at the meeting of the National Economic Council at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The council, chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo includes the 36 state governors, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, ministers of Finance, National Planning and Justice.
Liyel Imoke, Governor of Cross Rivers state while briefing state house correspondents after the meeting said the governors decided to back the planned tariff increase after listening to a presentation by the chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi. He said the joy in the new tariff plan was that there would be marginal or no increase in tariff for the poor who consume little quantity of power.
He added that even with the increase, electricity tariff in Nigeria would be lower than in some neighbouring countries like Ghana and Chad. He disclosed that N50bn had already been included in the 2012 budget to subsidise power for those who could not afford to pay for the next two years. Another major feature of the plan, according to him, is that there will be free full metering of all customers between 12 and 16 months to ensure that every customer is billed according to use.
The governor said the NERC had been charged to thoroughly monitor the exercise in order to ensure its efficiency so that Nigerians would not be paying for inefficiency.
This news coming at a time when Nigerians are still groaning under epileptic electricity supply hasn’t been taken well by most of the citizens. The governor did not say anything about improved electricity supply coming along with the increased tariff which is what most Nigerians are interested in. It wouldn’t be a good thing if electricity tariff across the country is increased and there is no relative improvement in electric supply.
So, what do you think? Are you ready for the increased tariff? Is increasing the electricity tariff a right step towards improving electric supply? What can be done to improve electric supply in Nigeria?
Please share your thougths.
News Source: Punch