Yesterday, the 3rd day of April, 2024, the news broke that the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), approved new tarriff increase in electricity of certain categories of electricity consumers in urban areas.

In my opinion, this new tariff approval is insensitive, discriminatory and another source of hardships to Nigerians and should not have been approved by the government, through its agency, at the time when over 200 million Nigeria massess are battling on how to survive the visible negative consequences of the fuel subsidy removal by this administration.

Since, the pronouncement of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR on the 29th day of May, 2023 to effect that “SUBSIDY IS GONE” (referring to fuel subsidy) Nigerians have been going through a lot of social and economic hardship, including but not limited to high cost of fuel, goods and services, and it appears the government has not been able to find any concrete answer or workable solutions to curson the hardship or visible negative consequences or impart of the purported fuel subsidy removal.

I am surprised that the government, rather than approve implementation of policy that will give relieves to its citizens, the government is approving new tariff that will create more hardship to the citizens.

By this new tariff, the cost of production of those into manufacturing or other related businesses affected by this new tariff would definitely increase and the end results would be increase in the price of goods, commodities and services. Similarly, the cost of living of those in residential areas affected by the new tariff will no doubt increase and will leave the residence with more burden of how to survive.

Considering the fact that one of the primary purposes of government under Section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) is welfare of the people, the government ought to be sensitive and not approve any policy, program or levy or tariff that will add to the burden of the citizens.

On the other hands, the classification of areas into BAND “A” B, C., D & E which determines the number of hours of electricity supply such area would enjoy is discriminatory bearing in mind that electricity supply is one the essential services a responsible government is expected to provide for her citizens irrespective of their standard or status in life.

By the classification, we were told that those in BAND A are expected to enjoy not less than 20 hours of electricity supply per day, BAND B not less than 16 hours while those in BAND E would only get 4 hours a day.

It is clear from the explanation provided that the classification were based on ability to pay and area of location or residence of the respective consumers.

This classification seems to see the less privilege Nigerians as second class citizens who should only be considered or enjoy adequate provision of electricity supply after the privilege ones have been taken care of, otherwise what was the basis for the classification when those affected did not voluntarily or willingly expressed their preference and/or consent to have electricity supply for only 4 hours a day when they should be entitled to enjoy equal hours of electricity supply with those classified as BAND A or B.

Assuming but not conceeding that the classification is in order and in line with international standard or practice, such classification and exclusive enjoyment of hours of supply of electricity should only come to play when every area in Nigeria can be guaranteed of a minimum of 15 hours supply of electricity a day and any area or estate or group who wants more can now be asked to pay more for the extra supply.

Government is not in existence to generate money and promote businesses at the expenses of the welfare of the masses.

In conclusion, electricity is essential services which the government must ensure it is enjoyed by all Nigerians irrespective of their status or standard of living.


‘TUNJI ABDULHAMEED ESQ. is an indigene of Ilorin in Kwara State and a Legal Practitioner based in Lagos State, Nigeria.

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