The Minister of State for Power, Engineer Abubakar Aliyu has declared that cost of electricity consumption in Nigeria is the cheapest and most defaulted by consumers in the world.
The minister made the claim on thursday during an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Power, and heads of various agencies in the Power sector.
According to Aliyu, electricity is highly subsidized in Nigeria by the federal government which made it the cheapest across the globe.
He backed up his claim by making comparative analysis of cost of electricity in Nigeria with those of the neighbouring countries.
“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”, he said .
He however lamented that while 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 bill.
Collaborating the position of the minister, the Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Engineer Sulyman Abdulaziz, said 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.
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 .
As a way out of the problem , Chairman of the Committee , Senator Gabriel Suswam and other members like Senators Adamu Aliero , Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf etc , 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 enormous debt incurred by them from electricity bills defaulters.
“The DISCOs as stated in the written complaint specifically mentioned military formations across the country, Educational Institutions ,, State Governments etc “, he said