In what has been drawing anger and polarising discourse, the federal government on Tuesday, January 5, announced an increase in the electricity tariff payable by power consumers in the country.
The new electricity plan was announced by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). The agency in a directive issued on December 31, 2020, stated that the new tariff will take effect from January 1, 2021.
NERC also maintained that the new tariff outmodes the Order NERC/2028/2020, according to a revised Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) signed by the new chairman of NERC, Engr. Sanusi Garba.
The commission explained that it approved the hike due to the 14.9% inflation rate rise in November 2020, foreign exchange of N379.4/$1 as of December 29, 2020, and the available generation capacity.
As Nigerians continue to react to the development, Legit.ng notes that this will be the third time an electricity tariff will be increased by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government for the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) in the country.
1. February 2016
On February 1, 2016, the federal government announced an increase in the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) 2015.
The development, according to the electricity consumers, was an over 50% rise in the price paid for the power service.
According to NERC, the increase reflected the inflation, rise in foreign exchange rates and gas with a lower generation capacity.
2. November 1, 2020
After failing to hike the Service-Based Tariff (SBT) in April 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, NERC approved an increase for the DisCos in September 2020.
This was, however, suspended after severe outrages from Nigerians who knocked the government for being insensitive to the reality of the economy.
The hike was later reintroduced on November 1, 2020, which makes it the second tariff hike since 2016.
3. January 2021
The electricity tariff hike introduced in January 2021 will be the third in five years of the current government, with a hike of about 25% on average varying across the 11 DisCos we have in the country.
Shehu Sani reacts
A former lawmaker representing Kaduna Central, Senator Shehu Sani, has reacted to the increase.
In a tweet sighted by Legit.ng, the former lawmaker and activist said:
"Reducing the cost of data and increasing the tariff of electricity. What you saved from Brother Pantami you give to Brother Saleh."
Power grid collapses
It was reported that Nigeria's power grid collapsed on Sunday, November 29, plunging some parts of the country including Kaduna, Kebbi and Zamfara into a total blackout.
The unfortunate development was announced by the Kaduna Electric in a statement on Sunday afternoon, saying the "collapse occurred at about 11:26."
Nigerian Electricity Crisis Explained | Legit TV