Petrol, electricity tariff hikes: We must pay right price to attract investments ― Abiodun

Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has thrown his weight behind the hikes of petrol pump price and electricity tariff, saying that the right amounts must be paid to attract investments to the sectors.

Speaking to State House correspondents after presenting a publication on his first one year in office to President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Thursday, he remarked that Nigerians should be able to pay the slight increase in petrol price since they will also enjoy lower prices when the prices of crude oil drop.

He stated: “First, you want to enjoy lower prices when the prices of crude are low and then not want to pay for a slight increase when there is an increase in the price of crude.

“The price of crude is directly proportional to the price of refined products. So, I believe that is what is happening at the moment.”

On electricity tariff increase, he observed that there had not been appropriate pricing, which had militated against the value chain of the power sector.

He said there is, therefore, the need to make the electricity value chain profitable to attract investment and have enough electricity for transmission.

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According to him, “In terms of the tariff increase in the electricity industry, again, we also have to decide what we want to do.

“We all complain that we are not generating enough electricity and we all complain about the fact that we don’t have the right infrastructure to transmit electricity, we complain about the fact that the distribution companies do not seem to be efficient. The problem is because, perhaps, the pricing is not right.

“If you want people to invest in the production of gas, in gas floatation, which our turbines and our power plants rely on, we must ensure that the entire value chain is profitable. Because if one part of it is not profitable, that means there will be a shortfall in one of the value chains if we don’t have enough investment.

“So, if you don’t have enough investment in gas gathering, if we don’t have enough investment in gas transportation, we will not have enough gas supply to sustain the quantum of generation we require as a government or as a nation. And when we don’t have that, we don’t have enough that will be transmitted to our homes and the transmission grid, and then, we continue to complain. So, really the truth is that it’s a cache 22 situation.”

While expressing the hope that the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) will implement the necessary regulation of the stakeholders, he added: “But truly, we must begin to pay what we need to pay so that we can have the right amount of investment in the entire value chain of the electricity industry. “

Governor Abiodun said he requested President Buhari to support Ogun state’s desire to over the Agbara-Fusada-Atan road because of its deplorable condition and its negative effect on the economy of the state.

He said he also urged the president to cause the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to handover the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road to Ogun and Lagos states to maintain since the federal government cannot fix all roads at the same time.

He said: “Our biggest industrial hub in this country is the Agbara Industrial Estate. There’s a road that goes from Agbara to Fusada to Atan, that road is the road that leads to this Agbara Industrial Estate, that road is in such deplorable state that trailers that are coming from that port, taking goods that need to be processed and finished to this industrial estate, trailers that are taking finished goods from the industrial estate to the rest of the country or back to the port, continue to have accidents and delays to the point where some of the multinationals have threatened to leave the country and go to another country.

“So, I came with a letter, requesting Mr President to note that because our people do not know the difference between a federal and a state road. This road has continued to be an embarrassment, not just to us in Ogun State, but to the entire country.

“This place is important to us for the economic survival of our state and the country at large. We have decided to intervene in the road, ourselves as a state and wanted Mr President to know that we are going to have construct that road at our expense and wanted him to inform the Federal Ministry of Works that we’ll be doing so and we’ll also be making demands on them for a full refund of the construction of that road.

“I also shared with him the pains on the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road as well. I came with a letter that I’ve written earlier on and pictures, to show him the deplorable state of this road.

“The Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Road is probably the second busiest road in this country, these roads are in such deplorable condition and we understand that the federal government cannot afford to build all the roads at the same time, but as a state government, Lagos State government and I have written to Mr President, asking Mr President to transfer that road to us. It’s a commercial road and we’ll commercialise it so that we can take that burden off the federal government.

“I’m glad to say that Mr President was very pleased with these our discussions and these applications and has promised to see what he will do to give us the necessary support so that this can also help us in the economic upliftment of our region.”

 

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