Rant Here Hike in elec­tric­ity tar­iff

The Punch - - SWAG! - Daniel Chukwu, 28

Some­one once said that if a per­son lives in Nige­ria long enough, the per­son might ac­tu­ally be­come scared when good things start hap­pen­ing around. So, it’s no won­der eye­brows stayed up when power dis­tri­bu­tion com­pa­nies in­creased elec­tric­ity tar­iff with­out a cor­re­spond­ing im­prove­ment in power dis­tri­bu­tion.

That’s why the re­cent elec­tric­ity tar­iff hike is the most use­less thing th­ese dis­cos have done in re­cent times. There is noth­ing as in­fu­ri­at­ing as hav­ing to pay for medi­ocrity. Take a look at South Africa. The coun­try cur­rently gen­er­ates more than 51,000 megawatts of elec­tric­ity for less than 70 mil­lion peo­ple. Mean­while, we’re still strug­gling to gen­er­ate 10,000MW for over 160 mil­lion peo­ple.

When I woke up this morn­ing, I looked un­der my bed, in the cup­board, bath­room and other places to see if I would find the power we’re sup­posed to be pay­ing for.

This im­posed hike is par­tic­u­larly painful be­cause it’s com­ing at a time when dis­cos are yet to get some­thing as ba­sic as pro­vid­ing pre­paid me­tres for homes, right. Most house­holds cur­rently pay for more elec­tric­ity than they con­sume, with the ‘es­ti­mate’ style of billing.

Which­ever way one looks at this is­sue, there is no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion, what­so­ever, for the hike. The 11 dis­cos in the coun­try should halt this mad­ness and do the right thing. They should pro­vide pre­paid me­tres and up­grade their in­fra­struc­ture. If they do that, they can then come with a tar­iff hike. Maybe then, we would lis­ten.

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