Thursday, 10 May 2012
NEPA to increase bills tomorrow, VP and all 36 govs support
Chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo, NEC expressed satisfaction with the presentation of the NERC Director General, Sam Amadi.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, noted that the new tariff regime will protect the poor by ensuring that those who consume low electricity pay less.
His words: "With what we approved today, there is going to be a decrease and increase.
"There will be a decrease for the low users and the poor people within the cities and the rural areas and there will be increase for the high users."
Justifying the need to increase the tariff, Obi, argued that "nobody is going to invest like they are investing in Ghana, in Chad and everywhere unless we do something because if you are a businessman and you are being asked to put money where you are going to lose money you are not going to do it.
"Overall, if we get the power issue right, Nigerians will pay less than 20 per cent of what they pay today generating their own power.
"And we want to ensure that like the metering he mentioned, there will now be accurate metering, no longer estimated metering."
Reacting to a question that Nigerians are bracing up to challenge the new tariff regime, the Anambra State governor dismissed it with a wave of the hand, arguing rather that Nigerians will be ready to pay more once they are sure of value for money.
His words: "Nigerians will be ready to pay but you have to demand for the real thing.
"I know the agitation from Nigerians because when they see things like this they are always agitated but in the long run, what we need to do is to hold everybody responsible that they deliver the correct result.
"And I assure you that what is coming now if we get it right, the average barber shop, vulcanizer everybody will have less than 20 per cent of what he is spending today in generating his own power and there will be increase in job creation.
"Manufacturers are leaving Nigeria to Ghana, businesses are leaving Nigeria because of cost of power.
"So we are going to them, you are paying this in Ghana, pay it here and stay here.
"And that is what is important so that they can employ labour."