By Chris Ochayi, Abuja
An expert in the power sector, Barrister Madaki Ameh has condemned the recent rates adjustment by Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, which saw an increment in the electricity tariff.
Barrister Ameh, who spoke with Vanguard while reacting to the development, said whether 50% or N4 increment, it was callous of the government to add a kobo to electricity cost, most especially now that the whole world was trying to subsidy things for their citizens in the wake of Cononvirus pandemic ravaging the world.
According to him, “With that increase or whatever they did, will it translate to Nigerians paying more for electricity? That is the question. It is not about the percentage, whether 50% or N4.
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“Why the thing is now painful is because in the whole of the world right now, in the era of this COVID-19, the government is trying to make life easier for their people. So why does the Nigerian government always look for a new way to make life complicated and difficult for the people.
“We are here now, the businesses are shut down, almost all the businesses are collapsing and they are dying. All the countries of the world including Ghana, just our next-door neighbour here, they are subsiding the electricity for their citizens.
“Do you know that since COVID-19 started, Ghanaians have not paid for electricity? The Ghanaian government every month gave money to the Distribution Company to supply electricity to the citizens for free. You can call anybody you know in Ghana to confirm this.
“You know, Ghana was doing their last presidential election, the fact that the Ghanaians are not paying for the electricity was part of the campaign. That was what endeared people to vote for the incumbent President and he won.
“So, the point I am making is other countries try to make life easier for their people but in Nigeria, the government go into deliberate research to find out how much more they can make life difficult for Nigerians.
“They always find a way to torment Nigerians if not how can any government contemplate of adding even a penny now when nobody is earning money? When people cannot pay their children school fees, when people cannot pay their rents, and cannot even feed themselves.
“So, what does the government do for us in Nigeria? Nothing the government of this country does nothing for us. So, why do they expect Nigerians to be patriotic?”