Ahead of the planned increase in electricity tariff by June 1, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Commissioner in charge of Government and Consumer Affairs, Mr. Abba Ibrahim, has said that the Federal Government is not a business venture and cannot deliver steady power supply to Nigerians.
To this end, he encouraged all the electricity consumers to come to terms with the new electricity tariff as that was the only means to improve the power distribution and attract foreign investment in the country.
In an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP SUNDAY, the commissioner said: “The government took it upon itself to provide electricity service since the days of ECN, NEPA and now PHCN. Clearly, as we have all witnessed in this country today, the government is not capable of delivering that power that everybody needs in Nigeria because they have tried several times and failed.
“So, that is what informed the policy of the Federal Government to privatise the power infrastructure. And in the privatisation process, you aim at attracting foreign direct investment for people with technical manpower as well as financial resources to come and invest in the sector.
“We need private investment because they are efficient and more focused in their businesses and government is not a business venture. All over the world, governments have shown not to be successful business managers. So, it’s no rocket science and we have to allow the right kind of people to do it,” he explained.
On the proposed electricity tariff, he said, “due to the Federal Government’s N50 billion subsidy intervention fund, the residential R1 (rural dwellers and urban poor) will not pay any fixed charges; the residential R2 pays N500 fixed charge, the residential R3 pays about N18,000, while R4 pays between N100,000 to N113,000, all per month. So, their charges vary according to location as well as the distribution companies.