By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
Following the suspension of electricity tariff hike by the Federal Government on Thursday, Civil Society Organisations, CSOs including ActionAid Nigeria, AAN, One Love Foundation, OLF, Grassroots Empowerment, and Justice, GEJ Initiative, and others, Friday, called on Federal Government to fix power sector and provide Nigerians stable electricity.
FG’s taking loan for power sector devt, yet increasing tariff shocking — ActionAid
The Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi, said, “For me, the government is toying with the lives of Nigerians. Before they hike the tariff didn’t they take permission from the Federal government? Is there no regulatory commission?
“My shock is that the government is taking loans for the power sector and the power sector is privatized and we don’t really know what is going on.
“It is really the first time they are causing divisions, which is in terms of specifying those in highbrow areas and those at the low-level areas, but the division of power consumption is already there, where you have high industrial areas, and those people who don’t have enough appliances to consume power, but now you are coming up with tariff hike to rob on these poor people.
“Does it mean the government wants the poor people to remain poor, and what does the government have to alleviate their plight or the kind of discrimination we have in the power sector now? The level of corruption in the sector is so appalling and this is between Nigerians.
“We need to refocus. Government is of the people, by the people, and for the people. If the government can really focus on the power sector it will transform the lives of Nigerians.
“Right now we have a generator economy that has negatively affected the economy. Many companies have died and others left the country because of the power problem. We should stop extorting money from Nigerians. Let the people have meters and pay as they go.
“Nigeria is sitting on a time bomb because of the large population of young people who wake up every morning and don’t know where to go. We condemn the increase and adjustments going on including the instability. All of these shenanigans must stop.”
Tariff suspension victory by the people, fulfill your promise — OLF
The Founder, One Love Foundation, OLF, Chief Patrick Osagie, said, “It is disheartening and shameful that Mr. Babatunde Fashola, a chieftain of the APC and a former Minister of Power once told Nigerians that any serious government should be able to fix electricity within six months. It is shameful that as a Minister of Power for four years, he wasn’t able to do anything. It is a shame to him and the government.
“On the reversal of electricity tariff, I won’t say the government is a listening government but rather, it is a government without ideology, purpose, vision, and direction. A government that has refused to fight corruption holistically but rather they are promoting nepotism, highhandedness, disregard for the rule of law, and so on.
“The victory is for the Nigerian people who resisted their wickedness and maladministration which was aimed at further impoverishing them. The Nigerian people as well as the CSOs shall remain forthright in defending the tenets of democracy and improve governance at all levels.
“I congratulate Nigerians for their courage, patriotism, and passion for the Nigerian state. We must defend it with all we have to make it a better place and the envy of the Western world.
“In conclusion, the Federal Government should apologise to Nigerians for trying to make life very difficult for them. It’s unacceptable to pay for darkness. The government should fix electricity and make 24 hours supply available for all Nigerians before talking about tariff increment.”
Nigerians deserve reversal of electricity tariff — CYNDO
The National Coordinator, Concern Nigeria Development Youth organization, CNYDO, Joel Edegba, said, “I applaud the FG for the decision taken to reverse the electricity tariff because Nigerians are facing challenges and hardship at this time in the country.
FG’s show of incoherence tiring, do the needful — HOMEF
The Director, Health for Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, Arc Nnimmo Bassey, said, “The FG had shown much incoherence in handling and communicating on the power supply. Nigerians are tired of being charged without anything being sold to them. The nonsense in the electricity sector is appalling.
“The time has come for communities and neighbourhoods to pool resources and set up their own solar power systems and disentangle themselves from the confused, entangled, and mangled wires of the national grid.”
We commend FG for listening to Nigerians but do more — GEJ Initiative
The National Coordinator, Grassroots Empowerment and Justice, GEJ Initiative, Ebriku John Friday, said, “The decision of the Federal Government in reversing the adjusted electricity tariff is timely and highly commendable.
“This simply shows the government listens to the demands of the people and for us, at Grassroots Empowerment and Justice Initiative it’s a positive way to start the year.
“The government should take the bold step of fixing the mess in the power sub-sector of the economy, consolidate on its successes by making meters available to Nigerians for free or at subsidised rate to end estimated billing and ensure stable electricity across the country to towns and villages. And end the generator’s regime.
“The Government should also consider deregulating the power sector to all states and even LGAs to explore other genuine avenues of electricity generation and distribution, such as solar power.
“Finally, in the spirit of the letter of the new year message by President Muhammadu Buhari, government policy initiation and implementation should be such that is targeted at empowering people at the grassroots to breach the gap between the rich and the poor.”
FG acted rightly by listening to the voice of reasoning — PMNN
The Founder, Peoples Movement for a New Nigeria, PMNN, Yahaya Ndu, said, “If it has been reversed then I will say that it is a thing of joy and shows that the government may be a listening one after all.
“If that indeed is the case then it may signal the beginning of good things to come to our beloved nation Nigeria.”