Essay from Adelayok Adeleye

Before the New Tariff

INCREASING the electricity tariff from the N16.11 per unit it is now, as has been announced in the news today, buried in the rubble
actually, would seem an acceptable idea until U consider how Nigeria works…

Whenever fuel, for example, becomes scarce or more expensive, the following happens: costs increase across board, and refuse to return
to baseline when the (fuel) crisis is resolved, or (fuel) price dropped.

In practical terms, when fuel becomes N97 from N87, fares that are N50 will become N100. U’ll be asked if U live in a different Nigeria when
U protest the disproportion. And when fuel price drops back to N87, U’ll be lucky to be ferried at N70, which becomes the new baseline for
the next crisis.

This is Nigeria!

The electricity tariff per unit was N7.30 till July 2012, N12.30 till around September 2013, and N12.91 till around October 2014 when it
became N16.11. Yes, it has gradually increased over the years under the premise of improvement in the power supply, improvements that were
short-lived at best!

So when Osinbajo says the Electricity Tariff inflated with outrageous estimates as it is (I was estimate-billed some 240 units just last
month, I typically use 125!) and distressing to those of us not bribing EDC officials will increase when the ailing power supply
becomes stable, I am worried, very worried.

Jonathan was finally negotiating an ease from 16.11 and now it’s to increase? So my N4 500 a month will become what? N6 000? We are not
all Audu or Diezani or Saraki, U know? We are not all rich like so! And things are “easy” as they are already. (I am Yoruba, we try not to
perpetuate negatives.)

And what is worse? Who determines when power is stable enough? The same guys blind to the frequent blackouts? The same guys pushing for
more profits? AND what happens after they increase the tariff and power flops? Will it revert? Or will it become a new baseline?

These are the questions even U must ask! U rich ones must ask! For the sake of the rest of us at least, the rest of us not living in Aso
Rock, not yet!

Ayokunle Ayk Fowosire.
Sagamu

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