A coalition of civil society organisations, Publish What You Pay (PWYP), has condemned the proposed increase in electricity tariffs.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has been reported as directing the 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) in the country to implement the new tariffs from Sept. 1.
In a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja, the National Coordinator of PWYP, Mr Taiwo Otitolaye, described the proposed rise in tariffs as “too many increases over the years without corresponding quality of life for Nigerians.”
PWYP is a coalition of civil societies that is championing transparency and accountability in the extractive industry.
It scrutinises revenue payments and receipts, tracking and accessing such records.
Otitolaye said: “The informal sector, which constitutes over 70 per cent of the Nigerian economy, has become moribund.
“There is the connection between abject poverty in Nigeria and energy outputs. No nation ever develops without properly situating her energy system.
“The global trends now is energy transition, alternatives away from fossils, but Nigeria appears not to be in a hurry to catch up with the rest of the world.’’
The national coordinator said that the gains of the petroleum industries over the years, which could have been diversified for the take-off of alternative energy, had been grossly mismanaged.
According to him, this trend would continue even as the Petroleum Industries Act (PIA) has come into effect with the president signing it into law.
“The allocation of 30 per cent of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) annual profit to the Frontier Exploration Fund for the development frontier basins is a setback for Nigeria as oil is becoming moribund.
“The large deposits of gas in Nigeria has become a curse for the host communities due to gas flaring. Our gains in the oil sector should be tailored towards energy transition not for further exploration of fossils.
“The PWYP described the incessant increase in electricity tariffs as a rip-off of the common man.
“This has aggravated the level of poverty, a degraded healthcare, collapsed educational system, unemployment and degenerated quality of life for Nigerians,’’ he said.
The PWYP coordinator called for a halt to the proposed tariff increase. (NAN)