Nigeria’s National Students Association (NANS) has commended the Federal Government over its directive suspending the recent electricity tariff hike in the country.
Several interest groups opposed the directive by the West African nation’s electricity regulatory commission, NERC, to distribution companies to increase tariff effective January 1, 2021.
Power Minister Sale Mamman, later, told journalists the Federal Government had directed NERC to suspend the tariff and rejected the assertion that the supposed hike was about 50 percent.
The Minister, however, announced that the Federal Government would offer subsidies to low electricity consumers.
In a statement, NANS’ President, Sunday Asefon said the suspension of the tariff by the Federal Government would go a long way in relieving the pains it would have inflicted on electricity consumers upon implementation.
The statement said that NANS took the decision to commend the suspension at its virtual meeting of January 8.
“The meeting extensively reviewed the recent actions taken by President Muhammadu Buhari, intervening and ordering the suspension of the outrageous electricity tariff,” the statement said.
The students’ body described the tariff hike policy as anti-people and ill-timed as conceived under groaning inflation in the polity.
It noted that putting the implementation of the policy in abeyance would help in pacifying the already incensed consumers.
The statement also commended the National Electricity Regulatory Agency (NERC) for reversing the action, saying NANS could have been provoked into organising protests across all campuses in opposition to the policy if it had been effected.
The statement further appealed to electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to make prepayment meters available for every household at no extra cost to the consumers as being witnessed in civilised countries.
“NANS had earlier rejected the hike in the electricity tariff, as we believe that the hike was insensitive, ill-timed, and anti-people. “We commend President Buhari for hearkening to the agitations of Nigerians. I want to say unequivocally that the suspension of the tariff hike is commendable at this time.
“We, therefore, call on our members across the country to suspend action and see how the compliance with the reversal will be,” the association said.