The Federal Government has said that the cost of electricity consumption in Nigeria is the cheapest and most defaulted by consumers in the world.
The Minister of State for Power, Abubakar Aliyu, made this known on Thursday in Abuja during an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Power and heads of various agencies in the power sector.
The minister in his submission said electricity was highly subsidised in Nigeria by the federal government which made its cost to be cheapest across the globe.
He backed up his claim by making a comparative analysis of the cost of electricity in Nigeria with those of the neighboring countries.
Aliyu said, “The cost of electricity in Nigeria is the cheapest across the globe, particularly gas to Power which is highly subsidized.
“For example, while the cost of electricity in Nigeria is 15 cents per kilowatt, it is 42 cents in the Niger Republic, 23 cent in the Republic of Benin, 25 cents in Mali, 28 cents in Senegal, 27 cents in Burkina Faso etc.”
He, however, lamented that while the government is 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 bills.
Making similar lamentation, the Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria, Sulyman Abdulaziz, said the high rate of defaults on electricity bills by critical government agencies led to the disconnection of Electricity Distribution Companies in Kaduna and Kano from the National grid recently.
He added that though they have been temporarily reconnected but must make payment through the affected DISCOs to TCN within the 60 days grace given.
Proferring solutions, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Gabriel Suswam, and other members like Senators Adamu Aliero, and Yusuf Yusuf suggested deduction from source, electricity bills of such agencies by the ministry of finance.
According to Senator Suswam, one of the complaints made by the DISCOs, particularly those of Kaduna and Kano is the enormous debt incurred by them from electricity bill defaulters.
“The DISCOs as stated in the written complaint specifically mentioned military formations across the country, educational institutions, state governments, etc to be the greatest culprits,” he said.