Chiemelie Ezeobi, Rebecca Ejifoma, Ayodeji Ake, Sunday Ehigiator and Chiamaka Ozulumba, who sampled the opinion of some Nigerians, write that the double whammy increase in fuel price and electricity tariff forebodes ill for the standard of living and in essence, Nigeria’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030 target
For most Nigerians, the coinage “September to Remember” is an annual ritual that transcends the physical to the spiritual. Most churches build their September conventions around those words and it’s touted as a time for restoration of all the previous months have drained.
This year in Nigeria, the coinage took another meaning as the federal government doubled the suffering of Nigerians with a double whammy effect of electricity and fuel hike. It truly became a September to Remember, although in a negative sense.
On September 1, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) raised electric tariff while the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), who vowed not to be left out, increased the fuel price too on September 2.
Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States, of which Nigeria is a part of, in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
The 2030 Agenda comprises 17 new SDGs, which will guide policy and funding for the next 15 years, beginning with a historic pledge to end poverty. Everywhere. Permanently.
The 17 SDGs are integrated—that is because they recognise that action in one area will affect outcomes in others, and that development must balance social, economic and environmental sustainability.
Through these pledge, Nigeria is supposed to- end poverty, ensure zero hunger, good health and well-being, provide quality education, ensure gender equality, provide clean water and sanitation, provide affordable and clean energy, provide avenue for decent work and economic growth, create industry, innovation and infrastructure, reduce inequality, build sustainable cities and communities, ensure responsible consumption and production, act on climate action, ensure life below water and on land, provide peace, justice and strong institutions as well as build viable partnerships for the goals.
Increment in Electricity Tariff
In apparent disregard to its pledge to achieve the SDGs, the federal government on September 1, increased electricity tariff. The Discos said electricity customers, except those receiving less than 12 hours of supply, would have to pay more. With the review, the tariffs being charged residential consumers receiving a minimum of 12 hours of power supply has increased by over 70 per cent.
Initially postponed from April 1, 2020, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) approved the reflected tariffs, which was again supposed to commence July 1, 2020. It was postponed after reports indicated Electricity Distribution Companies, DisCos, had pushed for a postponement until key areas of disagreement are sorted.