Northerners Speak on Nigerian Govt Electricity Tariff Increase

Recently, the Nigerian government increased the tariff rate for electricity. The government noted that only electricity customers in Band A would be affected by the increase. He noted that the increase would not affect Bands B, C, D and E while noting that the number of customers previously on Band A has been reduced.

Different respondents across northern states spoke to WikkiTimes on this development and their understanding of the band. Muhammad Tukur, a civil servant based in Dutse, Jigawa state noted that the increase will affect the cost of living.

“With the increase in fuel and now energy, It will definitely affect the way of life of many Nigerians, since there is no significant increase in the salary; therefore it will affect our lives significantly.” he noted.

 Another respondent in Jigawa state, Nuhu Danliman stated that while he heard about the increase in the cost of electricity, he wouldn’t be able to say whether it has commenced in terms of implementation or otherwise.

“We heard about the increase in electricity tariff, but we don’t know if it has already commenced or not. It wasn’t very clearly stated; some people said the government is going to increase the tariff, others said it was announced to increase the electricity for Band-A while others complained that they have started charging some quarters.”

He also noted that he does not fully understand what segregation by band means.

“I don’t understand the Bands; it was just announced but hasn’t been defined for the layman to understand. We heard that disco has started charging all Bands, some people are saying Band-A and some people are saying Band-B. Nobody is specific on what the government is saying about it, so I don’t know.”

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“The increase will have a very great effect on livelihood. The poor that is the average person will suffer, just like we are suffering from the increase in fuel because electricity is just like fuel, everyone is using electricity and everyone is using fuel, so it’s the same suffering in fact it will double the suffering.”

 In Kano, Murtala Aliyu noted that what is remaining is that the government should subsidise air and water. He also states that many businesses will suffer.

“ So many of our businesses and households would suffer seriously from this wicked policy decision of a few people in Abuja. The government claimed it will save over a trillion naira from the subsidy removal of the electricity. So what are they going to do with the money? In the fuel subsidy removal, they argued that the money saved could be used to improve the economy but we’re yet to see any impact on the economy. So it’s sheer wickedness and heartlessness that our leaders prioritize.”

Another respondent in Kano, Kabiru Isah Salanta, said that removing fuel subsidy is as serious as fuel subsidy removal.

“  The electricity tariff increment is just as serious as the fuel subsidy removal. Just a week prior to the increase, I bought 27.60 units of electricity at N2000 but immediately after the increase, I bought 20.70 units at N5000. It’s one hell added to us. I have to learn to live with this reality which means my house will be very careful in utilising the light. Nigerians deserve better. And I think they’re charging us with Band A or B but to be honest we don’t even get light close to 20 hours a day.”

Amid the decision of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to raise the energy tariff for the band ‘A’, electricity customers in Bauchi said they don’t know the service band they are currently receiving supply through. 

Speaking to WikkiTimes, a resident of Bauchi metropolis, Muhammad Gambo said he barely could make sense of the tariff increment, adding that he does not know the band that JED places his community on. 

Similarly, another resident, Isah Usman said while he appreciates the rise in tariff, he has no idea of whether he is a band ‘A’ or ‘B’ customer yet.

Mohammed Abubakar from Gombe opined that no one is happy with the hike in electricity charges.

“Obviously, no one is happy with the hike in electricity charges. The unfortunate part is that we don’t even get what we pay for. I can assure you that I don’t get up to 10 hours of electricity within 24 hours and they said I am in Band C. I understand that the band is simply a category according to how much electricity is allocated to a particular area.”

“It makes me sad to see that despite how far we have come as a country, we are still yet to conquer the issue of electricity in Nigeria. The only solution now is to opt for solar electricity.”

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