Electricity Tariff Hike Suspension; Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA) Commends NASS Leadership
The Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA)-a Lagos Based Non-Governmental Organization, has commended the leadership of the National Assembly which on Monday 29th June 2020, halted the planned hike in electricity tariffs from July 1st, 2020 and succeeded in convincing the Distribution Companies (DisCos) to defer the plan till the first quarter of 2021.
This was contained in a statement dated Tuesday 29th June 2020, and signed by its National Cordinator, Barrister Emmanuel Nwaghodoh
According to the group, the National Assembly leadership, waded into the controversy on the planned hike, met with the Chief Executives of the government electricity regulatory body and DISCOs across the country on the need to defer the plan. The National Assembly leadership, which going by reports, met with the key players are; the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Right Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila and other principal officers of the two Chambers.
This development, SEJA added, is not only commendable but portrays the National Leadership as true representatives who understand the excruciating economic hardship Nigerians currently but stoically endure.
It could be recalled that the Group had during a focused group discussion on the new electricity tariff regime organized recently in Lagos, which was recorded in depth and reported in an opinion article titled; Power Sector Reforms And Tariff Hike, published by The Nigeria Pilot Newspapers Limited on Monday 29th June, 2020, among other concerns, queried; why is FG coming up with such a plan at a time the global community is concerned that COVID-19 has caused massive shocks to both the informal and formal economies and unearthed massive inequalities within our societies and in Africa?
And coming at a time the World Bank estimates that the Sub-Saharan Africa region will see significant economic decline, and plunge to as low as -5.1% this year. Can such decision be adjudged as right in a society that unemployment rate is currently, going by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), report, at 28% and under-employment at 16% with many other expected? At a time when manufacturing companies are leaving the country in droves as a result of high cost of doing business in the country? And in the face of these realities concluded that, if the proposed tariff is allowed, it will become yet another ‘man-made code that neither squares with moral laws nor uplifts human personalities’.