Don’t increase electricity tariff, Media Watch Group tells Tinubu

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*Wants incessant inflation reduced

By BASHIR ADEFAKA

A call has gone to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu not to approve increment of electricity tariff this year.

A Non-Governmental Organization, the Muslim Media Watch of Nigeria (MMWGN), made the call in its first New Year press statement copied to The DEFENDER on Monday.

The statement was jointly signed by the National Coordinator of the Group, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Cordinator, Alhaji Yusuf Adebowale.

According to the press release, under the current serious economic hardship faced by vast majority of Nigerians caused by fuel subsidy removal, any increase in tariff of electricity with the current situation further compound and further unleash unbearable hardship on citizens.

The Group enjoined Federal and state governments to jointly use their powers through the National Economic Council to improve, substantially, the performance of electricity all over the country, and make it mandatory for all government agencies to pay electricity bills promptly, instead of increasing electricity tariff that could increase hardship of the people.

The Group identified corruption as being responsible for non-payment of electricity bills by government agencies inspite of allocation of funds for same, pointing out that revenue losses through the agencies was too much and should be urgently addressed.

On inflation, the MMWG called on President Tinubu to consider re-introduction of bulk purchase of food items for public servants and get the items distributed on ‘pay and pick’ basis in all Ministries, Departments Agencies continuously to force down prices of food items.

The Group wondered why a 50-kilogramme bag of rice could sell for between N50,000 and N65,000 across the country depending on which state.

It sought to know what went wrong with Lagos/Kebbi joint rice initiative which other states could synergise and get some food-stuffs at cheap costs for their citizens.

In this regard, the Group called re-establishment of States Commodities Boards to tackle the high cost of food items, while FCT Administration should handle that of the Federal Capital Territory.

The Group maintained that foods are not as expensive as being sold presently, adding that greedy and unpatriotic traders are contributing more to the inflationary trends of all goods – calling on Federal and State Governments to tackle that of food items that is highly essential to the generality of the people.

It enjoined both Federal and State Governments to populate the membership of the Commodities’ Boards with God-fearing and disciplined Security Agents cutting across all Services in-order to make the intervention to work.

The Group finally appealed to all State Governors to fear God and ensure that public servants, pensioners and the generality of people in their states do not suffer as they would account for their deeds before and after death.

It added that implementation of new salaries and pensions that would take effect from April this year must be implemented by all States and Local Governments automatically without any delay, the Group concluded.


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