Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, has rejected the fresh hike in electricity tariff by the Federal Government through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that the Federal Government through its NERC approved the increase in electricity tariff on Thursday after it released different documents indicating the payable difference by consumers using various electricity distribution companies across the country.
HURIWA’s rejection was contained in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, on Friday, which noted that the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had resolved to impoverish Nigerians with his inhumane policies.
“We strongly condemn and reject the hike in fees payable for darkness and wonder whether the government isn’t aware that millions of Nigerians lost their jobs due to Covid-19 and are in the job markets.
“According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s unemployment rate is over 33 per cent with over 23 million jobless Nigerians.
“How do they expect the 90 million absolutely poor Nigerians to afford the high costs of darkness as approved by NERC because electricity power to a few homes that are connected to the national grid are often left in darkness.
“Of note, despite trillions of dollars thought to have been borrowed by the Buhari regime to improve the megawatts produced by about 19 power generating plants in the country, the national grid keeps wobbling, with perpetual outages that throw businesses, homes and the entire country into subterranean darkness.
“Embarrassingly, the national electricity grid had collapsed five times in 2022,” Onwubiko stated.
The rights group urged Nigerians to protest the tariff increase and the skyrocketing costs of living.
HURIWA noted that the government’s policies were against the fundamental human rights provisions enshrined in chapter 4 of the Nigerian Constitution even and warned Nigerians that there would be dire consequences if they sat back arms folded.
Onwubiko said, “HURIWA urges Nigerians to protest and reject the fresh hikes in electricity tariff because it is an attempt to impoverish us, according to statistics by the Hanke’s Annual Misery Index which showed that Nigerians were more miserable in 2021 than they were in 2020.
“According to the report, which analysed 156 countries by calculating their unemployment rates, inflation, prevailing lending rates and GDP growths, Nigeria went from 15th among the most miserable countries in the world’s ranking in 2020 to 11th in 2021.
“Buhari and his government have deepened Nigerians further into unimaginable poverty and Nigerians including civil society organisations must kick against this unfortunate plunge,”
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