New electricity policy, Nigerians may pay more

During a phone-in radio program in Kano,, the Minister of Power, Mr Sale Mamman hinted that with the anticipated improvement in power supply to the country, increase in electricity tariffs was inevitable, considering the cost of energy generation in the country.

The Federal Ministry of Power in a statement announced the introduction of a new electricity distribution policy, called ‘willing seller, willing buyer’. Under the new policy, electricity would be wheeled directly from generation companies to willing consumers ready to fully settle their bills. These willing consumers might include community and commercial clusters, industrial areas and hospitality sectors.

The policy has already commenced in two pilot states.

The Minister revealed that the Discos had not been distributing all the power wheeled to them on the pretense that the consumers were unable to pay for the power, that the policy was designed to save energy loses in the power sector and assist Gencos which had not been getting the full payment for their generated power. This, he said, necessitated the huge Federal Government’s subsidy intervention in the power sector by paying the Gencos for undistributed power

Mamman lamented that the Federal Government approved an intervention fund of N700bn to the Gencos in 2017 and just recently, another N600bn was approved for the same purpose. The huge subsidy, he said  was an overbearing burden on the government, adding that over 2,000 megawatts of electricity was not being distributed due to the failure of the distribution chain.

The minister said the government was taking various measures including the completion of ongoing power projects to improve generation and distribution in the country.

He called on Nigerians to be more responsible citizens by paying their electricity bills, saying electricity tariffs were higher in the neighbouring Niger Republic but payments were almost 100 per cent.