The Federal Ministry of Power is to introduce a new electricity distribution policy called “willing seller, willing buyer”.
Under the new differential power distribution policy, electricity would be wheeled directly from the generation companies to willing consumer who are ready to fully settle their bills.
The willing consumers may include community and commercial clusters, industrial areas and hospitality sectors.
Speaking on a Freedom Radio phone-in programmed in Kano state, the Minister of Power, Engineer Saleh Mamman said, the policy was designed to save energy loss in the power sector and assist generation companies who have not been getting full payment for their generated power.
The policy has already taken off as a pilot scheme in two states.
The Minister revealed that DisCos have not been distributing all the power wheeled to the on the pretext that the consumers were unable to pay for power. This, he said necessitated the huge federal government’s subsidy intervention in the power sector by paying the GenCos for undistributed power.
Engineer Saleh Mamman lamented that last year, the federal government approved an intervention fund of 700 billion Naira was approved for the same purpose. He explained that this huge subsidy was an overbearing burden on the government, adding that 2,000MW of electricity was not being distributed due to the failure of the distribution chain.
Engineer Saleh Mamman also explained that the DisCos were owing the GenCos and other agencies in the sector over 1.3 trillion Naira and that their collection and remittances have remained below 30% or even far less despite several efforts to make them improve.
The Minister assured that the government was taking various measures including completion of ongoing power projects to improve generation and distribution in the country and called on Nigerians to be more responsible citizens by paying the electricity bills. He noted that in the neighboring Niger Republic, electricity tariffs were higher but payment were almost 100%.
The Minister also added that as part of efforts to improve power supply for Kano state and other cities to balance the distribution in the country.
He however hinted that with the anticipated improvement in power supply to the country, the increase in electricity tariffs was inevitable considering the cost of energy generation in Nigeria.