The Federal Government of Nigeria is providing 5 million Nigerian households with solar power in the next 12 months. This is according to the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. He said this initiative is under the government Economic sustainability plan, which alone will produce 250,000 jobs and impact up to 25 million beneficiaries after installation.
Lai Mohammed disclosed this in a joint press conference alongside the Honourable Minister of Petroleum (State), Timipre Sylva and the Honourable Minister of Power, Engineer Mamman to address the recent increase of electricity tariff in Nigeria.
According to the Minister, he said, “the truth of the matter is that due to the problems with the largely-privatized electricity industry, the government has been supporting the industry. To keep the industry going, the government has so far spent almost 1.7 trillion Naira, especially by way of supplementing tariffs shortfalls.”
The Minister continued, in order to protect the large majority of Nigerians who cannot afford to pay cost-reflective tariffs from increases, the industry regulator, NERC, has approved that tariff adjustments had to be made but only on the basis of guaranteed improvement in service.
Suffice to say that, only customers with guaranteed minimum of 12 hours of electricity can have their tariffs adjusted. Those who get less than 12 hours supply will experience no increase. This is the largest group of customers.
With the solar power initiative plan for Nigerians, there will be a relief from the main source of the nation’s electricity.
Estimated billing issue too is mentioned. Arbitrary estimated billing complaints is said to have reached the government ears. And accordingly, a mass metering programme is being undertaken to provide meters for over 5 million Nigerians, largely driven by preferred procurement from local manufacturers, and creating thousands of jobs in the progress.
Lastly, NERC is said to strictly enforce the capping regulation to ensure that unmetered customers are not charged beyond the metered customers in their neighbourhood. In other words, there will be no more estimated billings.
The government Economic sustainability plan, is expected to produce 250,000 jobs and impact up to 25 million beneficiaries after installation of the solar power for Nigerians.