Nigerians to pay more for electricity under new tariff plan


When the European Union pledged a significant investment of 37 million euros (about 40 million U.S. dollars) to bolster Nigeria’s power sector. [Xinhua]

Nigerians will begin to pay more for electricity following a tariff hike announced by the government's regulatory body on Wednesday.

Effective immediately, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has implemented an upward adjustment in electricity tariffs across the West African nation, said Musiliu Oseni, the head of the commission, during a press briefing in the capital of Abuja.

Oseni explained that the tariff hike primarily targets local consumers, who constitute 15 percent of the population but consume a disproportionate 40 percent of the generated electricity. The move aims to reduce the financial burden on the government, which currently bears substantial subsidies, amounting to as high as 1.6 trillion nairas (over 1.2 billion U.S. dollars) for the year 2024, according to Oseni.

The affected electricity consumers, who enjoy a minimum of 20 hours of electricity supply per day, will now face increased tariffs, the regulatory official said. This adjustment is part of the government's efforts to streamline costs and optimize resource allocation in the electricity sector.

The announcement has sparked mixed reactions among Nigerians, with some expressing concerns about the potential impact on household budgets, particularly in the face of existing economic challenges. In an interview, local agribusiness owner Emmanuel Itoro told Xinhua that the move would have "a harsh" impact on households, businesses and industries, potentially leading to increased operational costs and living expenses.

However, others view it as a necessary step toward achieving sustainable development and improving the reliability of electricity supply nationwide. Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, has long struggled with electricity supply challenges, including insufficient generation capacity and distribution inefficiencies.

While the government aims to address these issues, the tariff hike represents a bold step in the ongoing efforts to reform the country's energy sector, Oseni said.

He added that the tariff adjustment was necessary to achieve a more sustainable and economically viable electricity sector, urging citizens to bear the temporary financial strain for long-term benefits.