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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Let The Poor Breathe’, HURIWA Carpets FG Over Proposed 40% Electricity Tariff Hike

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Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Friday, backed the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to reject the proposed 40% electricity tariff hike by the Federal Government, effective July 1, 2023.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, described the plans as satanic and anti-people, saying the administration of President Bola Tinubu is unfeeling and totally detached to the suffering of over 130 million multidimensionally poor Nigerians.

The group said the Tinubu government, with its frequent not-well-thought-out policies, may plunge more people into multidimensional poverty before the end of its first year.

On Monday, the Federal Government dropped a hint at removing the N50 billion monthly electricity subsidy in the sector, citing revenue shortfall. This is coming weeks after the removal of petrol subsidy which now has skyrocket the prices of commodities, increased transport cost by over 200%, push up food prices by over 100% and generally made life unbearable for Nigerians.

In fact, a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that Nigeria’s inflation rate for May 2023 rose to 22.41% from 22.22% recorded in April, no thanks to subsidy removal without palliatives and viable cum cheap alternatives to cushion its effect.

HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The administration of President Bola Tinubu should let the poor breathe as all the policies of the Federal Government are apparently targeted at the poor. For instance, despite the removal of fuel subsidy, governors, senators and government officials are still going around with convoys while over 130 million multidimensionally poor Nigerians have resorted to trekking long distance as they can no longer afford fares for commercial transportation as a result of the skyrocketing prices of petrol, no thanks to the not-well-thought-out and shabbily-executed subsidy removal.

“We reject the proposed hike in electricity tariffs and any increment that will further aggravate the sufferings of the common man. If it cannot help the poor and bring them out of poverty, the Tinubu government should at least not suffocate them and let the poor breathe!”

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