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Tuesday 30 April 2024

Tariff Hike: Pay More Or Face Total Blackout – Power Minister

Tariff Hike: Pay More Or Face Total Blackout – Power Minister

The Nigerian Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has warned that the country may experience complete lack of electricity in the next three months if the recent hike in electricity tariff is not implemented.

He made this statement during an investigation hearing by the Senate Committee on Power in Abuja, concerning the new electricity tariff regime proposed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

The Senate committee had earlier rejected the new tariff regime.

In his address, the minister said, “The entire sector will be grounded if we don’t increase the tariff. With what we have now in the next three months, the entire country will be in darkness if we don’t increase tariffs.

“The increment will catapult us to the next level. We are also Nigerians, we are also feeling the impact.”

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According to him, the sum of $10 billion is needed yearly for the next ten years to revive the nation’s power sector and nip in the bud the challenges bedeviling it.

“For this sector to be revived, the government needs to spend nothing less than 10 billion dollars annually in the next 10 years.

“This is because of the infrastructure requirement for the stability of the sector. But the government cannot afford that. And so we must make this sector attractive to investors and to lenders.

“So, for us to attract investors and investment, we must make the sector attractive, and the only way it can be made attractive is that there must be commercial pricing.

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“If the value is still at N66 and the government is not paying subsidy, the investors will not come. But now that we have increased the tariff for A Band, interests are being shown by investors,” he said.

Adelabu, according to Daily Trust report, said the inability of the government to pay outstanding N2.9 trillion subsidy was due to limited resources, hence the need to evolve measures to sustain the sector.

In a recent hearing, the Minister of Power called on lawmakers to support the payment of outstanding debts owed to operators across the value chain of power generation, transmission, and distribution.

However, the Senate Committee on Power expressed concerns over the impact of tariff increases on Nigerian citizens and requested that the Minister and other stakeholders explore alternative solutions. Senators Simon Lalong and Adamu Aliero noted that there was a lack of consultation prior to the tariff hike and called for palliative measures to be implemented.

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, stressed the need for solutions that ensure liquidity in the sector and expressed frustration over the non-appearance of the company, ZIGLAKS, which had received N32 billion over 20 years to provide prepaid meters for Nigerian electricity consumers, but had failed to deliver.

Other stakeholders who presented at the hearing included the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the Association of Power Generation Companies (Gencos), and the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).

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Source: thecapital.ng

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