President Muhammadu Buhari says the decision to adjust the electricity tariff is one that is regretted by the Federal Government.
He is, however, relieved that the tariff review is not about the increase – which will only affect the top electricity consumers – but establishing a system that will definitely lead to improved service for all at a fair and reasonable price.
The President made the remarks on Monday in Abuja at the first-year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat where he was represented by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
Earlier, he reacted to the increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, which most marketers sell at a minimum of N160 per litre.
“The other painful adjustment that we have had to make in recent days is a review of the electricity tariff regime.
“If there is one thing that we have heard over and over again, it is that Nigerians want consistent and reliable power supply. So, the power sector remains a critical priority for the administration,” President Buhari said.
He stressed that the protection of the poor and vulnerable while ensuring improved service in the power sector, was also a major priority for the government.
Timing Of Petrol, Electricity Tariff Increase
President Buhari added that the policies of his administration such as the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) and other socio-economic schemes have shown that they remained focused on improving the welfare of the common man.
“There have been some concerns expressed about the timing of these two necessary adjustments.
“It is important to stress that it is a mere coincidence in the sense that the deregulation of PMS prices happened quite some time ago, it was announced on 18 March 2020 and the price moderation that took place at the beginning of this month was just part of the on-going monthly adjustments to global crude oil prices.
“Similarly, the review of service-based electricity tariffs was scheduled to start at the beginning of July but was put on hold to enable further studies and proper arrangements to be made,” he explained.
According to the President, the implementation of a ‘Willing Buyer, Willing Seller Policy’ for the power sector has opened up opportunities for increased delivery of electricity to homes and industries.
He revealed that the government was also executing some critical projects through the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme, which would result in the transmission and distribution of a total of 11,000 Megawatts by 2023.