The Federal Government has said that the cost of electricity consumption in Nigeria is the cheapest and most defaulted by consumers in the world.
According to the Government, electricity is highly subsidized in Nigeria by the federal government which made its cost to be cheapest across the globe.
Speaking in Abuja during an interactive session with the Senator Gabriel Suswam, PDP, Benue North East led Senate Committee on Power, the Minister of State for Power, Engineer Abubakar Aliyu backed up his claim by making comparative analysis of cost of electricity in Nigeria with those of the neighbouring countries.
The Minister who was accompanied by heads of various agencies in the Power sector said, ” Cost of electricity in Nigeria is the cheapest across the globe , particularly gas to Power , which is highly subsidized.
“For example, while cost of electricity in Nigeria is 15 cent per kilowatt, it is 42 cent in Niger Republic, 23 cent in Republic of Benin, 25 cent in Mali, 28 cent in Senegal, 27 cent in Burkina Faso etc.”
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Aliyu lamented that while government was doing everything possible to make electricity affordable and available for Nigerians, many of the ordinary consumers and even critical agencies of government, default in payment of bill.
On his part, the Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria ( TCN), Engineer Sulyman Abdulaziz said that high rate of defaults on electricity bills by critical government agencies led to disconnection of Electricity Distribution Companies ( DISCOs) in Kaduna and Kano from the National grid recently.
According to him, though they have been temporarily reconnected but must make payment through the affected DISCOs to TCN within the 60 days grace given.
In his remarks, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Gabriel Suswam and other members like Senators Adamu Aliero , Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf, among others on the way forward, suggested that there should be deduction from source, electricity bills of such agencies by the Ministry of Finance.
Senator Suswam who noted that one of the complaints made by the DISCOs , particularly those of Kaduna and Kano was enormous debt incurred by them from electricity bills defaulters, said, ” The DISCOs as stated in the written complaint specifically mentioned military formations across the country, Educational Institutions, State Governments etc.”