Monday, June 17, 2024

My Perspective on the Increment in Electricity Tariff: The Woes and Possible Improvisation and Alternatives for Both the Authorities and Consumers

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It is better to manifest frustrations and concerns over the recent hike in electricity tariff than keep mute to unintentionally, unwittingly or deliberately rationalise this policy shift.

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Energy prices have significantly soared following an increase in tariff by NAWEC, more than doubled the accustomed prices. There is almost a 40 per cent increase in electricity tariff, precisely domestic consumption. This, therefore, implies a constraint on the population (the majority of which is impoverished) in accessing electricity. A vital component of their daily activities.

It is apprehensible to exchange monetary value for durability and ideal service satisfaction. But the current situation is totally the opposite, inconceivable. With a skyrocket in cost, the durability is frail. A voucher of 50 dalasis scarcely last solid 5 hours, using TV only. Thus, an average household would consume three times that amount daily, with the fragile level of durability, having to factor in the use of other appliances including refrigerators, which consume a lot more.

With this, there would be an inescapable cut in other daily spending to meet the demands of electricity consumption. We can barely do without electricity, as it envelops a lot of our daily activities. This has an even more adverse effect on a household with an unshared responsibility.

And for whatever reason this policy is hinged on, the only outcome it has so far had on the populace is dire. To improvise, as we hope the authorities would give it a rethought to consider the plight of the impoverished, saving energy should be prioritised. We should be able to save as enough as we could to better the durability.

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From an individual perspective, this is sheer exploitation of the masses with no positive return or intended benefits.

I would reiterate, as in one of my 2021 posts, there is a necessity to create an environment in which public entities (service-based public corporations) like NAWEC can be privatised due to the inability and limited capacity to provide satisfactory service provision.

Yankuba Sanneh,
Student, University of The Gambia; Current SG of Pan African Students’ Association – University of The Gambia.

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