by Oluseyi Awojulugbe,
Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, says Nigerians must accept the reality that electricity tariff might be increased for the country to enjoy reliable power.
In an interview with THISDAY, the minister urged Nigerians to ask that meters be supplied instead of getting court injunctions against tariff review.
“If we want to experience reliable electricity, we must accept the reality of tariffs and possible upward or downward reviews. We must stop going to court to get injunctions to stop tariff reviews,” he said.
“We don’t do so, when exchange rate, inflation and prices of other commodities change. What we must insist on, is the provision of meters, so that we can monitor and control what we consume.”
Fashola said the federal government had chosen to settle out of court for a contract, awarded in 2003, for the supply and installation of three million prepaid meters.
The contract, which is worth N37 billion, was awarded during the era of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) and was not executed before the power sector privatisation was concluded in 2013.
He also said the contract had been reviewed for immediate implementation.
Fashola said a N119 billion court judgement in favour of the plaintiff was awarded against the government on its failures to execute the contract., adding that the government has negotiated the judgment to allow it go back to execute the contract.
He added that the government had negotiated the judgment to allow it go back to execute the contract.
Fashola said the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan made the mistake of failing to make metering of consumers a compulsory obligation of the 11 electricity distribution companies (DisCos).
“One of the omissions of the privatisation carried out by the last administration was lack of compulsory metering before the privatisation. This is compounded by an inaccurate consumer projection of six million households, without a consumer audit,” he said.
“These are the problems the Buhari government is now trying to fix with the power sector recovery programme.”