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Ministerial Briefing targets timely flow of government information – Idris

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…Explains power tariff regime adjustment.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, has emphasized the current administration’s commitment to bridging the communication gap between the government and the Nigerian people. The Minister said this during a Ministerial Press Briefing Series featuring the Ministry of Power on Friday, 5th April 2024, at the National Press Centre, Abuja.

He said that the Ministerial Press Briefing is conducted regularly to ensure President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s goal of an accessible and timely flow of information is achieved. He assured the media that the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation will continue to provide credible and timely information on government policies.

The Minister also noted the need for the Ministry of Power to brief Nigerians on the recent review of the tariff regime in the power sector due to the citizens’ concerns.

While speaking, Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, appreciated the media’s continued support of the Renewed Hope Agenda and emphasised the Power Sector’s relevance to the activities of every other sector in society.

The Minister gave an overview of the ministry’s activities while appealing to the general public to be open-minded to the government’s activities and policies. He assured the public that the President has a track record of success and will do well during this administration.

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He emphasized that with the removal of subsidies on petrol, the floating of the Naira, and the inflation rate in the country, the government does not want to aggravate the suffering of Nigerians. He further said that the power sector needs an overhaul, and the present administration has taken the bold step to start the journey.  He pleaded for patience and understanding in addressing the root cause of the problems of the Power Sector to provide consumers with the desired service.

The Minister pointed out that we are in a subsidy regime where the government covers 67% of the cost of power production, transmission, and distribution, which consumes more than 10% of the National budget. This is a burden on the country’s meagre revenue.

He emphasized the need for consumer protection and that value for money is critical for consumers, and the Ministry is determined to keep its promise to them. In addressing the recent tariff increase, the Minister said the increase is only for consumers in the Band A category, which is only 15% of consumers, while other customers will continue to enjoy the government subsidy.

According to the Minister, the ministry intends to provide a cost-reflective tariff and gradually migrate other consumers to the band A grade over three years. These consumers will enjoy 20 to 24 hours of electricity per day, and it is realistically cheaper at N225 per kilowatt than diesel and generating sets.

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Chief Adelabu said the sector currently needs to be more attractive to investors. There is an infrastructure deficit, which includes the availability of gas and the generation, transmission, and distribution of power. These must be addressed for the sector to grow and benefit Nigerians. He also mentioned that a metering gap needs to be bridged and that all the issues stated can only be addressed by generating funds.

He mentioned that the sector had been decentralized and that consumer protection was vital, 20 hours must be achieved as promised, and anything else would attract consequences for the distribution company.

He also mentioned that Nigerians have to learn energy consumption management while getting value for money spent. At the same time, the Ministry, on its part, is rounding up generation, such as renewable energy and the Zungeru projects. The Ministry is also working hard to find creative ways to cut vandalism while installing new lines and injection lines and investing in advocacy to educate consumers.

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