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Reject electricity tariff hike, MNTT tells Buhari

The Movement for Nigeria’s Total Transformation has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the planned 40 per cent increase in electricity tariff.

The new tariff is expected to come into operation in November 2015, but MNTT said that the rise would worsen the hardship on Nigerians.

In a release signed by the Chairman and Coordinator of MNTT, Chief Areoye Oyebola, in Ibadan on Monday, the group said it was unimaginable that in a country where the minimum wage of N18,000 per month had not been implemented by many state governments, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and owners of the new electricity companies could contemplate tariff increase.

Oyebola said, “It is in an unfortunate country called Nigeria that the latest callous statement made by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission that tariff will increase by 40 per cent in November can be made without the masses turning the country upside down.

“MNTT strongly appeals to President Buhari to immediately stop the planned tariff increase which will further dehumanise the oppressed Nigerian citizens. The President should resist the powerful vested interests, mainly former rulers of our country, who bought the former Power Holding Company of Nigeria under shady circumstances for personal enrichment.”

The group lamented the epileptic nature of electricity supply in the country, which it said had led to the exodus of multinational companies to other countries.

“The epileptic nature and insufficiency is the situation that has prompted many multinational companies to leave Nigeria for better organised and saner countries, such as South Africa and Ghana. The comatose state of the economy and the hardship of small-scale businesses are partly due to erratic electricity supply and arbitrary monthly electricity fees being charged as a result of deliberate refusal to provide pre-paid meters to consumers,” Oyebola added.

The group also expressed concern over the low level of megawatts being generated in Nigeria, compared to what South Africa, with a quarter of Nigeria’s population, generates.

While calling on Buhari to review the privatisation of PHCN by the immediate past administration, it also urged the Nigeria Labour Congress, other trade unions and professional bodies to resist the planned tariff increase.

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