The epileptic power supply across the country has remained one of the greatest nightmares for every Nigerian. Regrettable is that the citizens are now of the belief that, the body in-charge of electricity regulation – Nigeria Electricity Regulations Commission (NERC), is not doing enough to address power failure in the country. For the greater part of 2020, discourse on the erratic power supply remained on the front burner. Unfortunately too, the increase on tariffs and over estimated bills by the DISCOs have left tongues wagging ultimately. As at today, Nigerians are still suspicious about government action on high tariffs and over estimated bills, given that a majority of electricity consumers who had paid for meters are yet to be supplied with one yet the DISCOs are busy smiling to the banks even when the country is in near total darkness. The energy sector often time has had to grapple with policy somersault.
This same inconsistency resulted to the directive given not too long ago by the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman saying that all DISCOs should revert to the tariffs that were applicable in December, 2020. This idea of toying with a sector like the energy industry speaks volumes on the performance indicator of the Nigeria economy. This position may have negated the expectations of all Nigerians from the chairman of the electricity commission, Mr. Sanusi Garba, whose expertise and experience in the energy sector in many ways have fallen short of the general expectation. The point remains that, the economy would continue to crawl and small businesses surely would go into extinction if nothing drastic is done to address the myriads of challenges in the energy sector.
The state of the economy and also the New Year calls for paradigm shift given that electricity remains an engine block for economic growth especially in an economy like ours. We call on the Federal Government to be more circumspect on issues affecting energy supply and generation in the New Year. The distribution of about six million free meters as agreed before now should be carried out without further delay. The indiscriminate hike of tariffs which pitched labour against the Federal Government in the previous year should not be contemplated at all this year. We also demand that the DISCOs in the New Year should imbibe with the best standard practices as obtained anywhere in the world, and avoid incessant tariff increase and over estimated bill that has become embarrassment to every consumer. In all we call for a rethink of NERC decisions in the New Year.