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Again, Power Minister says Nigerian govt can no longer afford subsidy on electricity



Minister for Power, Adebayo Adelabu, says Nigerians would be willing to pay higher amounts for electricity just as citizens of other West African countries like Guinea, Togo and Mali who pay more than what Nigerians pay for electricity, if they get value for their money.

Adelabu however, reiterated that the government can no longer afford to continue to subsidise the cost of electricity, a position he had put forward before.

The Minister who stated this when he visited the corporate headquarters of the Ikeja Electric in Lagos State on Thursday, said if there was an improved power supply, Nigerians would not complain over high tariff as long as they get value for their money.

“Guinea, Togo, Mali, Ivory Coast, and all the neighbouring countries that we have that are supposed to be poorer than Nigeria, they pay more than double what we pay here. I believe that our people will be ready, once they are sure of reliable and consistent supply,” the Minister said.

Adelabu who held a meeting with the management of the distribution company, however, called on stakeholders in the electricity supply chain to create a basis for the removal of electricity subsidy for a cost-reflective tariff.

READ ALSO:‘Electricity is not free’, Power Minister tells DisCo to publish names of debtors

Adelabu warned stakeholders that Nigerians are complaining over the current low power supply occasioned by gas constraints because there is much heat and fuel is no longer affordable due to subsidy removal, adding that citizens would be willing to pay more for power if they had regular power supply.

“It’s not like we have not experienced this kind of thing before, but the heat is too much now, while petrol and diesel for generators are no longer affordable. People who have been spending N2,000 on fuel now need N10,000. They cannot afford it; so, the noise is much.

“I believe a lot of people will be ready to pay for electricity, whether at the current tariff or an increased tariff because ultimately we are going to migrate to the full cost-reflective tariff.”

Adelabu however, reiterated that the government can no longer afford to continue to subsidise the cost of electricity.

“Power business is highly capital intensive. It requires a lot of investments and infrastructure, and the investment can never be lost. It will also transform into sales and revenue for Discos. So we believe that our Discos must be ready to invest in high-impact infrastructure,” the Minister said.

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