FG spends over N50bn on electricity subsidy monthly

The Federal Government (FG) on Tuesday, said it initially spends over N50 billion on electricity subsidy monthly until the periodic minor tariff review was done.

It said despite the current tariff regime, about N25billion was still been expended monthly on subsidy, a move it said was draining the country’s economy.

The Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman, made the disclosure while receiving members of the Hausa Guild of Actors & Film Producers, otherwise known as Kannywood in Abuja.

He said the funds are provided to augment the shortfall by the Distribution Companies who have failed to defray the cost of bulk electricity supplied to them by the Generating Companies.

However, following a minor increase in the tariff regime, he said the monthly spending on subsidy has now decreased by half, but still constitutes a serious drain on the nation’s economy.

The minister further expressed concerns over the failure of Distribution Companies (DisCos )to meet their financial obligations to other players in the sector.

He said it was in response to this that the FG decides to partly subsidize the sector so as not to price the cost of electricity out of the reach of the common man.

“Nigerians must understand that these companies were privatized long before the advent of this administration but the government has no alternative than to continue managing the sector before a final solution is secured.

“Through the Presidential Power Initiative and other intervention measures, the Government is diligently working to massively resolve all these inherited problems that have continuously frustrated the success of the sector,” he said.

Mamman reiterated that while some of these challenges persist, remarkable performance and progress has been achieved as electricity supply is now stabilized at over 5,000 Megawatts up from less than 4,000 Megawatts.

The minister blamed the shortfall or interruptions on supply to some quarters on faulty equipment and supply lines and called on consumers to report such developments to their distribution offices.

He also said it was DisCos’ responsibility to replace faulty transformers, electricity poles and cables whenever they occur and warned against tasking customers with these responsibilities before they could restore power interruptions.

On metering, Mamman explained that although it was the responsibility of the DisCos to provide meters, the FG already stepped-in in view of the public outcry overestimated billings.

He said the Federal Government was committed to supplying over six million free meters to Nigerians.

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