Stop planned electricity tariff hike, OPC tells Tinubu

The Oodua People’s Congress has urged President Bola Tinubu to stop the planned increase in electricity tariff by distribution companies in the country, said to have been proposed to take effect from July 1.

The OPC, in a statement by its General Secretary on Sunday, Bunmi Fasehun, described the move as “anti-people, oppressive, unjustified and aimed at discrediting the new regime of President Bola Tinubu.”

OPC President, Otunba Wasiu Afolabi, noted that the move had similarly been rejected by the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

Stressing that Nigerians were still grappling with the effects of the removal of fuel subsidy, Afolabi said increasing the  electricity tariff  “would be adding to citizens’ burden and paint the Tinubu administration as uncaring.”

“Today, citizens are the ones buying their own poles, transformers, cables and prepaid meters. DISCOs have turned themselves into rent-takers and blackout distributors,”  Afolabi said.

The OPC president said the DISCOs should supply prepaid meters free of charge to their customers, alleging that “they have refused to do so because they enjoy sending crazy bills to customers who suffer darkness and power failure all the time.”

Instead of increasing electricity tariff, OPC advised the DISCOs “to borrow the example of the telecommunications companies that have reduced the cost that consumers pay for calls and data.”

Afolabi said, “OPC asked DISCOs to justify the hundreds of billions in public funds that past regimes have pumped into the sector, even when the distribution segment of the electricity value chain had been privatised.

“President Tinubu should tell the distribution companies that if they cannot deliver with the current tariff, they should submit their licences and close shop.

“Moreover, the government should scrap this territorial monopoly, where only one DISCO has commandeered a service area and allows no competition.

“Consumers in any area should be able to choose and transfer to other DISCOs as currently obtains in telecommunications and in other countries. That will create competition and push DISCOs to render quality service in order not to lose customers to competing suppliers.”

(Punch)