The presidency has said President Muhammadu Buhari has no power to influence the decision of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to increase electricity charges. Buhari’s spokesperson, Femi Adesina, while speaking on a TV interview on Monday said the decision to increase electricity tariff is within the purview of the Ministry of Power and NERC.

The NERC approved an increase in electricity tariff by the 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) in the country. The increment has, however, caused furore among Nigerians who expressed their displeasure over the development.

But Mr Adesina, while responding to a question on the matter on Monday, said such decision is not within the purview of his boss. “The matter is strictly not within the purview of the President but the ministry of power and National Electricity Regulatory Commission,” Mr Adesina said. “Besides, the ministry had already explained that any adjustments to the tariff will only take effect from April. So, let’s leave it at that for now.”

He also argued that it is too early for Mr Buhari to wade in “even if need be”. “It’s rather too early to ask the president to wade in at this time. He should only be consulted as a final resort.”

Mr Adesina assured that the federal government “will ensure the interests of the public are protected regardless of any new policy implemented.”