INCREASE IN ELECTRICITY TARIFF
Morning Crossfire show on 99.3 Nigeria Info FM today has Wemimo Adewuni and Sheriff Quadri discussing increase in electricity tariff with resource persons in the studio. This show today pays more attention on pricing and metering.
Wemimo starts by making remarks that Nigeria is a giant in the Sub-Sahara Africa yet, it continues to battle with power production. According to her, there are so many limitations in the power sector. These challenges limit the growth of the country economically. Reports from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) indicate that Nigeria is endowed with large oil, gas, hydro and solar resources and already has the potential to generate 12, 522 megawatts (MW) of electricity from existing power plants.
Unfortunately, the country is barely only able to generate around 4,000 MW, which has been insufficient for Nigeria's socio-economic growth over the years. Reports from various news reports admit that Nigeria needs 180,000 MW to enjoy stable power supply.
Sheriff comments that news reports across the National Dailies as of last week had it that Federal Government through NERC has increased the tariff payable by power consumers across the country. Reports also reveal that from the beginning of 2020, power consumers will have to pay an additional sum of between N8 and N14 for every kilowatt-hour of energy provided by their respective distribution companies. The National Electricity Regulatory Commission, as of Sunday 24th August, said "no tariff increase has been approved by the commission. Mr. Usman Arabi, NERC's GM remarks that the agency was still consulting with stakeholders according to news reports on Friday 23rd August. The average power supply in Nigeria is 3,851 MV while the peak average power supply was around 4,425 MV in 2017 (Electricity Generating Companies)
What is responsible for the Nigeria's fluctuating amount of megawatts generated? Achike Chude comments that Nigeria shouldn’t be where it is today because electricity generation is fundamental to the growth and progress of the country. “Getting the real sector back on steam is fundamental,” Achike says. “I want to believe that the Discos are being hunted by their past. The reality is you have to look at the fundamentals. Nigerians were carried away by the excitement that was going on in the telecoms sector at that particular time. But we tried to point out that there was a difference. People came in with money and used it to establish telecom companies. But for this power case, they sold government assets because they said government has no business doing business.
"But what was the basis of selling these assets? I remember that some of us had mobilized with electricity workers at that time and we moved from Yaba NLC on foot to Marina in protest because we warned Nigerians that they were not going to see light. It was going to be same of same. So you have a situation where the basis of government action was premised on the fact that it was putting so much money on public enterprises. Over 400 of these enterprises have been privatized. Some years back, Bureau for Public Enterprises responsible for the privatization told us that only 10 percent of those privatized organizations were working at optimal level. That meant 90 percent were not working optimally and were absolute failure.”
Wemimo emphasizes that Sam Amadi was in the studio during Morining Crossfire show in July and he confirmed that many of the companies that came into the privatization agreement were not capable of getting the job done and they were able to apply and granted permission because the standards were brought low.
Why then did the federal government go on with the plan, having the full knowledge that it work? What is responsible for the Nigeria's fluctuating amount of megawatts generated?
Play the video below to watch the full show and don’t forget to leave your comments.
Morning Crossfire with Wemimo Adewuni (@wemimospot) & Sheriff Quadry (@SheriffQuadry), alongside Achike Chude (@achike12)
Written by Jude Chukwuemeka