Civil society groups task govt on regular, affordable power supply

Sam-Amadi NERC27 August 2013, Lagos – Civil society organisations in Nigeria have challenged the federal government to tackle the problem of inadequate electricity supply, insisting that increase in electricity tariff must be matched with increase in power supply.

The organisations said government could only get their commendation and support in the on-going reform of the power sector if there is regular and affordable supply of power

The CSOs stance however came on the heels of recent disclosure by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, that the Nigeria’s current electricity generation is about 14,000 megawatts, MW, below its 2012 projected capacity generation figure of 18,000MW. However, the country currently generates just about 3,800MW.

Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, Mr. Auwal Musa, who expressed concerns over the current practices by the various distribution companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, stated the distribution companies were not keeping faith with appropriate tariff charges on consumption rates of customers.

Musa, who spoke at a recent forum organised by NERC to interface with civil society organisations in Abuja said on the yearly increase in electricity tariff as contained in the Multi-year Tariff Order, MYTO-2, of NERC, if the reform will translate to adequate, regular and affordable power supply, it will receive the full backing of the organisation.

He said: “if this increase is there and there is no improvement in electricity, we will let them know that it is not fair. However, if the increase is going to lead to improvement in electricity and it is going to be affordable for the ordinary Nigerian, then we will support it.”

Musa added: “We believe that we should support every effort to reform all the sectors that are not working. But it is important to note that consumers should be charged based on their utilities.”

He said majority of Nigerians were not aware of the policy changes by NERC due to ineffective dissemination of information and adequate consultations, adding the forum was an opportunity for Nigerians to share their views on how they feel about the power sector and also on the new electricity tariff.

“This stakeholders meeting will help us establish a commitment that would ensure regular, sustainable and affordable electricity in Nigeria. When this is achieved, a lot of people who want to do business in this country can do so without necessarily depending on government,” Musa stated.

– This Day

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