The Chief Executive Officer, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr. Usman Muhammed has disclosed that electricity consumers in Nigeria should be ready to pay high tariff.
Speaking at the official ground breaking ceremony of the company reconductoring project, Ikeja-West Sub- Region , Ipaja-Ayobo in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer , TCN, said cost reflective tariff must be look into as government as injected N1.7trillion into the sector and every investor will want to have return on investment.
He said, “But with the current situation, this is not possible and Nigerians must be ready to pay for electricity supply, even as the poorest of the poor should get the measure of electricity they can afford, that way they will be able to manage their pause”
“When electricity is not paid for , contract will not be effective and government will have no option than to pump in more money , which does not make any economic sense.”
The Transmission boss said, there is no relationship between poverty and paying for electricity bill, he added “let’s stop deceiving ourselves; government paying subsidy on electricity won’t work.
He added that, the main reason why Nigerians should pay for electricity, is for Transmission company network to be expanded and not relying on the government for fund all the time.
The Chairman, West Africa Power Forum stressed that, Nigeria has the cheapest electricity tariff in West Africa and Nigerians cannot say they are the poorest and use that as reason they cannot pay for electricity.
Speaking with journalists at the event, the Chairman, Ikeja Electric , Mr. Kola Adesina reacting to questions about the el Rufai committee on power, he said, the committee was set up to review the privatization effort of the government.
He stressed that, the primary purpose of the committee has nothing to with the ownership of the Distribution asset but it is actually the government interest in the sector.
“The government has 40 per cent shares in the industry and the state governors on their part are glamouring for what will be their role regarding the shares and how it will be apportioned.
“Also the community has a voice in this , for instance, someone like me, talking from the generation perspectives , I have a generation power plant in Egbin , does the Federal government has plan for them to have shares, I don’t know, how will they apportion the shares, I don’t know” he averred.
Adesina stressed that, the el Rufai committee is primarily meant to focus on how government shareholding will help service delivery ultimately because for now it is not so clear.
He disclosed that, since the Discos took over the asset in 2013, government has not put in anything whatsoever regarding 40 per cent shareholding.
He lamented that, the government that has 40 per cent share has not contributed their own share in the running of the business since 2013, he added that “and you all know the way businesses are run, if you are a share holder in a business you must put down something to run the business” he stated.
Reaction to the injection of N1.7 trillion into the sector by government, he said, that was subsidy to the consumer and not shares to run the business.
He revealed that, Nigeria still has the lowest tariff compare to other countries in the world and since electricity is a global product , it invariably has a pricing formula attached to it and what government have done is paying the differences between the cost of service and tariff.