THE Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr Osita Okechukwu, has lauded President Muhammad Buhari for halting electricity tariff hike in the country.
Okechukwu gave the commendation while speaking with journalists at the inauguration of the All Progress Congress (APC) ward executives at Eke community in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State on Sunday,
According to him, “I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for saying ‘No’ to incessant shylock electricity tariff hike; to be exact, almost three times since the inception of his regime.
“I have carefully perused the defence advert of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and begged to disagree with them.
“For the avoidance of doubt and without prejudice to their defence, adjustment from N2 to N4 per kwhr, according to them, to reflect the partial impact of inflation and movement in foreign exchange rates.
“Increase in tariff will make the greatest number to remain in darkness, while the few, who can pay, will continue to enjoy electricity. Is that the improvement we are yearning for?
“No, the truism is that the lame excuse cannot exonerate the electricity distribution companies (DisCos) from breaching the agreement they had with Nigerians to fix the moribund distribution networks”.
The VON DG noted that it would be better for the president to consider the revocation of the agreement with the DisCos) nationwide, adding that their incapacity would thwart economic development in Nigeria.
“This may make it impossible to realise the president’s objective to lift millions out of poverty. Bet to me, even if tariff is increased 10 times, they lack the capacity to turn around the electricity distribution infrastructure in the country.
“Our problem started with a rigged privatisation exercise. It is imperative to remember that the exercise was less than transparent.
“Evidence can be located in the Dr Atedo Peterside Technical Committee of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) report, which reviewed the exercise.
“The only pragmatic solution is the termination of the agreement, as critical examination of the amount the Federal Government pumped in since 2015 to revamp this critical distribution infrastructure is more than what the DisCos invested.
“Let’s terminate the agreement and revamp the electricity distribution infrastructure, less we remain ever in darkness,’’ he said.
Jan 10 2020 @ 17:31 GMT