Atiku Abubakar Criticizes Electricity Tariff Hike, Warns of Heightened Hardships for Nigerians

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has voiced strong opposition to the recent electricity tariff hike, warning of increased challenges for Nigerians amidst ongoing economic hardships. The tariff increment, announced by the Federal Government through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has sparked controversy and concern nationwide.

Atiku expressed his dismay over the timing and implementation of the tariff hike, emphasizing the lack of adequate notice and post-reform plans to alleviate the burden on citizens. In a series of tweets on his X account, he highlighted the compounding effects of previous economic reforms, such as subsidy removal on petrol and currency devaluation, which have already strained the populace.

“The increase in electricity tariff comes at a time when Nigerian citizens are going through excruciating difficulties,” Atiku tweeted, underscoring the failure of the government to address the repercussions of prior policy changes. He cautioned that the tariff hike would exacerbate inflationary pressures and adversely impact the manufacturing sector, which is already grappling with high operational costs.

Atiku called for a reevaluation of the root causes of inefficiencies in the power sector before implementing further reforms. He urged a reconsideration of the privatization process that led to the establishment of Distribution Companies (DISCOs), emphasizing the need for a more strategic approach to restructuring the sector.

Furthermore, Atiku directed attention to the states’ response to the tariff hike, noting that Lagos, Kano, and several others are exploring alternatives to traditional power distribution. These states, in line with the Electricity Act 2023, are moving towards generating their own electricity and establishing independent regulatory bodies to oversee local power markets.

Meanwhile, various groups including the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), civil society organizations, and the Nigeria Electricity Consumer Advocacy Network have joined Atiku in condemning the tariff hike. They warned that the measure would exacerbate the plight of Nigerians already struggling to cope with economic challenges.

As the debate over the electricity tariff hike intensifies, Atiku emphasized the necessity for coordinated reforms with measures to mitigate the impact on citizens. He called on stakeholders to hold NERC accountable for ensuring improved service delivery and urged a concerted effort to address the broader systemic issues within the power sector.


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