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A Sudden Hike in Electricity Rates in Nigeria, has Sparked Backlash

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) announced the price change last Wednesday and said only its bigger power consumers, about 15 percent overall, would be affected by the subsidy cut. Authorities said consumers in that category enjoy up to 20 hours of electricity a day and that the rate hike was only fair to customers who receive fewer hours of light. The decision to remove electricity subsidies is part of President Bola Tinubu’s reform drives to ease pressure on the economy. Authorities argue that state-controlled electricity rates are too low to attract new investors or allow distribution firms to recover their costs, leaving the sector with huge debts. This week, the Abuja chapter of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture, or NACCIMA, said the decision would threaten the survival of many thousands of businesses already struggling to cope with soaring inflation.