Nigerians are expected to pay higher electricity tariff from July 2020, the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, insisted on Tuesday.
Mamman disclosed this in his presentation at an investigative public hearing on: “Power Sector Recovery Plan and the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic” organized by the Senate Committee on Power, in Abuja.
The Minister noted the controversial increase would have taken effect in April 2020 but was postponed till July 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread “apathy” towards the increase by Nigerians.
Mamman said: “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has also affected our laid out plan for the repositioning of the electricity market towards financial sustainability under the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP).
“Initially, the Regulator, following the completion of public consultation on tariff review, planned on conducting a tariff review in April 2020.
“However, due to COVID-19 and customer apathy, the proposed tariff review was delayed by 3 months.
“The impact of this means the subsidy being incurred in maintaining the current tariff level had to be maintained till July 2020 when the proposed tariff review will be implemented.”
He noted the challenge of the nation’s power sector is facing in the development and expansion of our transmission line is “budget and release of FG’s commitment in the estimated sum of N32billion primarily for Right of Way acquisition and environmental impact mitigation. The fund should be provided for in the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Appropriation of the Ministry of Power.”
He added that the power sector is also grappling with the challenge of infrastructural misalignment, market inefficiency/transparency, sector governance/policy coordination, increase energy access and completion of legacy projects.