Nigerians should brace up for increase in electricity tariffs if improvement in power supply across the country must be sustained, according to major energy provider, Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).
The Managing Director of NDPHC, Mr Joseph Chiedu Ugbo, made this point at the weekend when Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, visited the firm’s Abuja headquarters to inspect the N-Power call centre domiciled there
Ugbo explained that most electricity consumers in major cities of the country spend as much N70 to privately generate a kilowatt hour of electricity whereas they pay less than N30 per kilowatt hour for public power supply.
He said that if consumers can pay even marginally more than the N30 per kilowatt hour, not up to N70, for public electricity, the power generating companies would be more able to meet up their production costs and provide more power to Nigerians.
The NDPHC boss noted that part of the challenges is that Nigeria’s electricity supply system is still transitioning from a social service obligation to a market-based commodity production service, hence the need for every stakeholder to be more realistic.
“Part of the challenges we have is moving from social service through NEPA/PHCN because power was almost a social service before now; so, we are moving from social service to market commodity.
“In market commodity, the cost must reflect market production and return on investment they have made. So, to that extent, that is why they are clamouring for tariff increase. If there is a gap between the tariff and the cost, somebody has to pay for it.
“ The question is: does government have the money to pay that? We all know the situation we are in now, we all know the cost of our mainstay - oil - going down. I think we have to be realistic about that.”