Fed Govt ‘ll Continue to Subsidise Electricity – Minister Assures Nigerians

The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has assured that the Federal Government will continue to subsidise electricity for Nigerians to guarantee stable and reliable supply.

Adelabu said this at the Ministerial Press Briefing series organised by the Ministry of Information and National Orientation on Friday in Abuja.

He said that the recent increase in tariff affected only a small percentage of the country’s population, adding that majority of Nigerians would continue to enjoy government’s subsidy.

Reports had it that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had announced an increase in electricity tariff paid by Band A customers from N68/KWh to N225KWh.

It was also reported that Band A customers were those who enjoy electricity supply for 20 hours per day.

‘”From the latest statistics, we have about 12 million customers in the sector and this (tariff increase)will only affect about 1.5 million customers.

”The remaining 10 .5 million customers will continue to enjoy government’s subsidy ,which is almost 70 per cent of the population.

”This review is in conformity with our policy thrust of maintaining a subsidised pricing regime in the short run or in the short term with a transition plan to achieving a full cost reflective tariff for the sector over a period of three years,”he said.

The minister said that before the tariff increase, government was subsidising the cost of producing and transmitting electricity in the country by more than 50 per cent.

Adelabu added that the government decided not to migrate to a cost reflective tariff or remove subsidy 100 per cent because it was sensitive to the pains being experienced by Nigerians presently.

The minister said removal of subsidy would be a journey, rather than destination and that it would be a gradual migration from subsidy regime to a full cost reflective tariff regime.

Credit: NAN