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U-turn: Nigeria Government Reverses Decision on Electricity Tariff and Telecom Prices Amidst Public Pressure

Abuja, Nigeria – In a surprising U-turn, the Nigerian Government has announced a reversal of its decision regarding the controversial electricity tariff hike for Band A customers, as well as the pricing of SIM cards and mobile phones.

The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, announced during a sectoral briefing on Friday, emphasizing that the increase in electricity tariffs is only temporary.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) initially implemented a staggering 240 percent tariff hike for Band A customers, who receive a reliable 20-24 hour power supply. However, following strong opposition from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NUC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the NERC reduced the tariff by N18. Despite this adjustment, organized labor threatened to embark on a nationwide strike.

Minister Adelabu defended the temporary tariff increase by drawing a parallel to the early days of the telecommunications sector, where SIM cards and mobile phones were initially expensive but gradually became more affordable over time. He expressed confidence that as the power sector improves in generation, transmission, and distribution, electricity tariffs will eventually decrease.

“The electricity tariff might seem expensive now, but it is a temporary hardship leading to a permanent gain,” Minister Adelabu affirmed. “We have seen a similar pattern in the telecommunications sector, where prices eventually decreased as the industry expanded. We anticipate the same outcome as we enhance our power infrastructure.”

The decision to reverse the electricity tariff hike comes after Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) initiated legal action against the Nigerian government over the arbitrary increase. This move demonstrates the government’s willingness to address the concerns raised by various stakeholders and ensure a fair and equitable pricing structure for electricity consumers.

It is worth noting that Band A customers, who enjoy uninterrupted power supply for 20 hours per day, were initially slated to pay N225 ($0.15) per kilowatt-hour, a significant increase from the current N66 kilowatt per hour. However, with the government’s recent reversal, the tariff will remain unchanged for the time being.

This unexpected development has brought relief to many Nigerians who were concerned about the financial impact of the tariff hike. While the government acknowledges the temporary hardship associated with the increase, it remains committed to achieving a sustainable and affordable electricity system that benefits all citizens.

As the power sector continues to evolve and expand, Nigerians can look forward to a future with more accessible and reasonably priced electricity, just as they have experienced with the telecommunications industry.

Efecha Gold
Efecha Gold
Multimedia Expert, Journalist, and Singer.


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