FG will continue to subsidise electricity — Minister



By Praise Oguntan

The Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, has said 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 the majority of Nigerians would continue to enjoy government’s subsidy.

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

Also reports that Band A customers are 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 the government’s subsidy, which  is almost  70 percent  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, the government was subsidising  the cost of producing and transmitting electricity in the country by more than 50 per cent.

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

He 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.

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