July 14, 2024
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ELECTRICITY

Nigerian Senate Rejects Removal of Electricity Subsidy

The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday rejected the government’s proposal aimed at removing the electricity subsidy, a move that would have inevitably led to a hike in electricity bills.

Senator Abbas Iya, representing Adamawa Central, moved the motion during the session on Wednesday, securing the backing of fellow lawmakers in attendance.

In an interview with the Hausa version of the BBC, Senator Ali Ndume, representing Borno South, emphasised the requirement for any increase in electricity tariffs to receive the nod from the Nigerian Red Chamber.

“It’s absurd to even consider increasing tariff for a service that frequently remains inaccessible, and extorting extra funds from the citizens is grossly unfair,” he said.

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Ndume emphasized the necessity of opposing the proposed removal of the subsidy, highlighting the escalating reliance on solar power due to the unreliable and costly nature of conventional electricity.

“Hence, we stand in firm opposition to this proposal,” he said, stressing the need to address issues such as food scarcity and economic hardships.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had in December revealed that the federal government spent over N600 billion to subsidise electricity in 2023 alone.

Last week, Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu announced that it was very difficult to sustain subsidy on electricity adding that Nigeria must begin to move towards a cost-effective tariff model.

According to the Minister, Nigeria is currently indebted to the tune of N1.3tn to electricity generating companies, while the debt to gas companies was $1.3bn.

The government had in May removed the fuel subsidies which led to the unprecedented surge in the prices of food and other commodities compelling Nigerians into a food crisis and a high cost of living.

There were protests in some major cities including Minna, Kano and Oyo over the economic hardship occasioned by the removal of the fuel subsidy.

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