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Nigerians still enjoy electricity subsidy, Group warns against misinformation

The current public outrage over the removal of electricity subsidy for 15 percent of consumers is unnecessary because the majority of Nigerians will continue to benefit from the subsidy.

Assessing the tariff reform, the Tinubu Media Support Group (TMSG), condemned the attempt to muddle government policy by claiming that the price increase for electricity consumers in the Band A category affects all consumers.

it said in a statement signed by its Chairman, Mr Jesutega Onokpasa, that President Bola Tinubu deserved credit for signing off on an action that shielded 85 percent of electricity consumers from tariff hike while also paving way for improved power supply in the medium and long term.

“We have seen how some individuals and groups have been jostling for media space to dish out misinformation on the recent tariff adjustment announced by the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and felt the need to join the fray in order to debunk the lies.

“So much has been said about the price increase from N66 kilowatt per KW/h to N225 for consumers in Band A who enjoy 20+ hours of electricity supply daily but surprisingly it’s being made to look like a general hike in tariff.

“While it is true that the last tariff hike in Nigeria was in 2020, the distribution companies (DisCos) have been angling for what they described as cost-reflective tariff to help businesses recover costs and boost investment but it is to the credit of President Tinubu that what we have is a price adjustment that affects only consumers enjoying about 40 percent of distributed power.

“In addition, out of 800 feeders on Band A, 300 were removed. These are mostly those meant for residences. So, in effect, ordinary electricity consumers will experience no increase outside of consumers in Band B,C, D, and E.

“Also, those that will experience increase will receive benefits of lower rates than the alternative power sources they were using,” TMSG argued.

it also dismissed claims that the new tariff for premium electricity consumers would affect productivity in the case of manufacturers.

“In our view, the essence of the tariff adjustment is to provide that category of consumers more power, reduce their dependence on diesel-powered generators, and reduce their cost of production. This is one way to grow the economy.

“So we are convinced that those claiming that manufacturers will pass on the extra cost to the consumer are being mischievous. What they are getting is a reduction of cost of production, so the consumer should even be expecting lower prices instead.

“We see it as a win-win for manufacturers and citizens. You cannot make omelette without breaking eggs, so providing a steady power supply is key to the improved production capacity of industries. Improved productive capacity is beneficial to the citizen. So, it benefits all.

“We make bold to say that not one major manufacturer or big industry player, including their umbrella body, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have complained over the matter. They know that for them, it will amount to a reduction in cost of production ,” TMSG explained.

The pro-Tinubu group also accused opposition elements of seeking to make political capital out of a straightforward action

It said: “We are not surprised to see the opposition cashing in on the hysteria that an increase in tariffs creates without much analysis of the real situation.

“The poor and the less privileged are still benefiting from subsidy on electricity and we urge Nigerians to ignore the baseless postulations and evil machinations of those twisting facts on this matter to mislead the public for their selfish political interests.”

TMSG hailed NERC for sanctioning the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) and urged it to pay close attention to the DisCos to ensure that they keep to their side of the bargain and not shortchange Nigerians.

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