The halt on the planned electricity tariff hike has been described as a sign that President Bola Tinubu is sensitive to the plight of the masses, says Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Osun State.
Oyintiloye, speaking with journalists on Sunday in Osogbo, recalled that the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, had on November 8 revealed that President Tinubu recently stopped an increase in the cost of electricity tariff and insisted that subsidy be paid on power consumed nationwide.
He said the minister maintained that removing electricity subsidy, while Nigerians were still battling the effects of fuel subsidy removal would be counter-productive.
“In the quarterly report by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the federal government’s subsidy in the power sector hit N135.2 billion in the second quarter of 2023, from the N36 billion it paid in the first quarter.
“NERC report also revealed that the N135.2 billion recorded in the second quarter of 2023, was an increase of N99.21 billion or 275 per cent compared to the previous quarter of N36 billion.”
Oyintiloye noted that the NERC report disclosed that the government is still subsidising electricity for the masses.
He said removing the electricity subsidy which the government was still paying to fill the gap between the reflective tariff cost and allowed tariff cost would have been another burden on the masses.
“We need to commend the president for not allowing the hike in electricity tariff at this moment to scale through.
“This really shows that the president meant well for Nigerians and all his economic policies are in line and in tune with reality which is in the best interest of the populace.
“Removing electricity subsidy at this time while Nigerians are still struggling with the effects of fuel subsidy removal will not have been the best.
“But because the president is a man who understands what people are presently going through in terms of the exchange rate, galloping inflations among others.
“And the president is working so hard to make Nigerians smile again, that is more reason he did not allow the hike to scale through”, he said.