VOX POP: Citizens bemoan new EDSA killer tariff

President Bio is currently in charge of energy

with Yusufu S. Bangura

Citizens in Freetown have expressed dissatisfaction over the increase in Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) tariffs and the challenges in accessing quality and affordable electricity for domestic uses.

Most of them are apparently angered by the recent unprecedented increase in electricity tariff, which many have described as a ‘killer.’

Their frustrations were further propelled by the public notice of the Sierra Leone Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission (SLEWRC) that effective May 8, 2024, the TI Social Tariff Band would be removed.

The new tariff, representing over 15% of Goods and Services Tax (GST), was imposed since the 1st of June without first preparing the minds of consumers and another increment is set to take effect on June 8 as stipulated in the public notice.

Many were therefore shocked and dismayed to have realized the increase when they bought recharge units for their prepaid metres.

In this vox pop, Concord Times’ Yusufu S. Bangura yesterday took to the streets of Freetown to gauge the views of citizens to know how this increase would affect their daily lives.

Ibrahim Kamara, Businessman

As for me, the increase in EDSA tariff is really affecting us. The tariff has been exponentially increased and the units do not last for long, making the situation even worse considering the cost of living in the country. We have other things to spend money on. The burden of electricity tariff increase is too heavy for us to carry. The amount of units we get from the purchase does not reflect the value for our money.

All I want to ask from the government is for them to reduce the tariff as it was before, and they must take it serious because it is seriously affecting us.

Foday Kamara, Orange money Agent

I used to buy NLe 100 EDSA credit and get 30-40 units in return, but now there has been a massive increment in the tariff.  This past Monday I bought NLe 100 EDSA credit and I received 16 units which will not last for a week. It is really a big blow on our faces as citizens.

And the most shocking thing about this increase on this tariff is that I came to learn about it recently and there was no announcement or press releases until on Monday in the evening when they issued out a press release when the tariff has already gone up.

As a citizen I am pleading with the Government to see to this constrain and amend this issues before it will be too late.

Musa Kamara, Trader

I think this increment on this Tariff will bring extra hardship for us as citizens, and this will also increase illegal electricity connections which will make EDSA run at lost because one can’t buy Top Up and it doesn’t sever you for some time.

Some of us are bread winners for the family and we have so many responsibilities to attend to. Electricity is part of our responsibility therefore, the recent increments has brought more burdens on our shoulders.

My call is for the government to look into this increment on the tariff if they want to succeed their agenda they have for the country, although it’s not easy but let them try to cushion the effect if not so many things will go bad including g businesses that depend on electricity.

Joseph Mansaray, Student

Yesterday, I went to buy NLe 150 EDSA credit to my surprise I received 28 units which is far below the usual amount I get. Before June 1st we get 50 to 55 units from Nle 150.

I felt so bad to see this kind of increase on EDSA tariff. As citizens, if they want to increase tariff, they should notify us early to see if it will accept it or not, and this increment is totally unacceptable.

As a student, I depend more on electricity to do my studies, so I am calling on the government to intervene in this issue and find way to amend it.

Mohamed Sesay, Businessman

This increase means a lot to me and my business. I run a provision shop where I need electricity to keep it running and I also have freezer but due to this increase I can’t operate it because it will not sever me for long time, and if I may say, 25% of my life depend on Electricity.

This increment did not go down well with me because it is affecting my business greatly, so I want the government to look into this issue more for us that are doing business because it is going too bad for us.

Benjamin Kabia, Businessman

The increment of the EDSA tariff mean a lot to me because it now cost one a huge amount to get high units that will sever for some time, even though we are not having frequently light. I think this will disturb our business and will impose more expenditure on us and we are not making much profit and besides we have other responsibilities and every other aspect is affected by government increments in taxes and bills.

Firstly my view is for government to resolve frequent power outages, because I think if there is frequent light maybe we might have the courage to buy the Top Up ate this rate initial rate which was already very expensive.

Kashor Pyne, Footballer

Yesterday morning I went to buy NLe150 EDSA Top-up for our meter and I received 18.13 units which is real heartrending for us as citizens because I wasn’t expecting ESDA tariff to skyrocket like this.

This increase will not only affect me, but every Sierra Leonean. This kind of units they are giving will not sever up to two weeks as many has heavy appliances at home and their business places.

I think the government needs to intervene in this issue and see how best they will amend it.  If not so it will affect us all, and let them know that we are the masses and they are working for the interest of the country not their self-gain, whatever decision they make good or bad reflex on us.


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