“It is wrong timing” – Senator Ndume condemns hike in electricity tariff

Sharon EboesomiApril 6, 20244 min

The Senate Chief Whip, Ndume, called for the suspension of the hike to carry out further consultation.

"It is wrong timing" - Senator Ndume condemns hike in electricity tariff
Senate Chief Whip, Ali Ndume

Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) has rejected the recent hike in electricity tariff arguing that it comes at the wrong time, as Nigerians are yet to recover from the removal of fuel subsidy. 

The Federal Government, through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), recently approved an increase in electricity tariff for customers under the Band A classification by over 300%. 

The NERC Vice-Chairman, Musliu Oseni had on Wednesday, 3 April 2024, disclosed that customers under the Band A classification, who receive 20 hours of electricity supply daily, will pay N225 per kilowatt (kW), starting from April 3 as against the initial N66.

Following this development, critical stakeholders in the country like Labour Unions, and ethnic and religious leaders, have already voiced their opposition to the arbitrary rise and warned of the potentially disastrous effects.

READ ALSO: “Halt all plans to increase electricity tariff” – Senate to FG 

Ndume, condemning this move, in a statement made available to reporters on Saturday, urged the federal government to change course for the benefit of Nigerians. 

According to the Chief Whip of the Senate, Nigerians are facing many challenges, including unprecedented inflation, poor purchasing power, insecurity, and other hardships. 

He also demanded that before raising tariffs, the Federal Government concentrate on giving Nigerians steady electricity first, lower inflation, stabilise the naira, lower food prices, and offer other necessities.

Ndume who mentioned that lawmakers have been receiving calls from their constituents, requesting their intervention, questioned why the National Assembly, which represents the people, wasn’t properly consulted before making such a consequential decision. 

He said: “The news of the increment came to me and many of my colleagues as a shock. It also came at a time when the National Assembly was on a break. I think the timing of this hike is very wrong. Nigerians are grappling with many challenges. 

“To put this fresh responsibility on them is very unfair. Nigerians are yet to recover from the fuel subsidy removal of last year. Many Nigerians are still grappling with the ripple effects that removal had on them. To now come up with this is wrong.

“I believe that the timing is wrong. There ought to have been some consultations, especially with the National Assembly as representatives of the people. We were not consulted. We saw the news like every other Nigerian.

“The inflation is still very high. The prices of food commodities, drugs, transportation, school fees, and other daily expenditures are still on the high side. To now add this new burden is unfair. 

“The minimum wage has not been increased. Many state governments are yet to even pay the current minimum wage of N30,000. How do we expect the people to survive? We’ve to be very realistic and feel the pulse of the people we represent as a government.

“For me, I think the Federal Government should first of all provide stable electricity, reduce the inflation, stabilise the naira, and prices of food commodities. Then, the purchasing power of Nigerians must significantly improve before we can place a fresh responsibility on them as a government.

“The federal government needs to allow the National Assembly to also step in and consult because we represent the people. We feel their pulse, and we know what they’re going through right now,” he added.

Sharon Eboesomi

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