Electricity bill cheapest, most defaulted in Nigeria, says power minister
Minister of State for Power, Abubakar Aliyu, has declared that the cost of electricity consumption in Nigeria is the cheapest and most defaulted by consumers in the world.
The minister made the claim, yesterday, during an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Power, and heads of various agencies in the power sector.
According to Aliyu, electricity is highly subsidised in Nigeria by the Federal Government, which makes it the cheapest across the globe.
He backed his claim with a comparative analysis of the cost of electricity in Nigeria and those of neighbouring countries.
He said: “Cost of electricity in Nigeria is the cheapest across the globe, particularly, gas-to-power, which is highly subsidised.
“For example, while the cost of electricity in Nigeria is 15 cents per kilowatt, it is 42 cents in Niger Republic, 23 cents in Republic of Benin, 25 cents in Mali, 28 cents in Senegal, 27 cents in Burkina Faso etc.”
He lamented that while government is doing everything possible to make electricity affordable and available for Nigerians, many ordinary consumers and even critical agencies of the government, default in payment of bills.
Corroborating the position of the minister, Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Sulyman Abdulaziz, said high rate of defaults on electricity bills by critical government agencies led to the disconnection of distribution companies (DisCos) in Kaduna and Kano from the national grid, recently.
He said, although they have been temporarily reconnected, they must make payment through the affected DisCos to TCN, within a 60-day grace period.
As a way out of the problem, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Gabriel Suswam, and other members, like Senators Adamu Aliero and Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf, suggested the Ministry of Finance make a deduction from source, with regards to the bills of defaulting agencies.
Suswam said one of the complaints by the DisCos, particularly, those in Kaduna and Kano, was enormous debt incurred through defaulters.
He said: “The DisCos, as stated in the written complaint, specifically, mentioned military formations across the country, educational institutions, state governments etc.”