Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Sunday said Nigerians will be willing to pay for electricity if the service providers will be ready to up their game through constant and better power supply.
Speaking during a webinar on Economic Sustainability Beyond COVID-19 organised by Emmanuel Chapel, the Vice President said it is not true that Nigerians do not want to pay more for power but that major challenge had remained the poor service offer them by the DisCos over the years.
Reacting to a question posed by the former Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, the Vice President said, “Just to comment on the point you made and I have alluded to it that income elasticity is more important for persons living in the rural area and for the poor who need to have electricity for whatever means of livelihood they have.
What we have discovered especially as we have worked with private sector to deploy solar power in different parts of the country is exactly the point you have made.
“For example, in Wuna, a village which is just outside Abuja, they never had light until a private company provided solar power there, what they pay on average for their power is well in excess of the N37 per unit that we pay for power of the grid.
“There is no question at all and Turankawa in Sokoto pays almost N100, so from many of the areas where we have been it is evident that this business of people not willing to pay for power is not true at all, as a matter of fact the reason why there is such great resistance is really the service level.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has blamed the inefficient collection processes of the 11 electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to a revenue loss of N890 billion, Daily Sun findings has revealed.
The N890 billion drop in revenue collection is contained in the summary report and recommendations of the National Economic Council (NEC) Ad-Hoc Committee on Ownership Review and Analysis of DisCos and Electricity Sector Reform recently submitted to the Federal Government. The committee is headed by Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, while Governors of Adamawa, Anambra, Edo, Kebbi, Lagos and Plateau are members. Other members are Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Bureau of Public Enterprises(BPE) and Niger Delta Power Holding Company(NDPHC)
According to the NEC report, between 2015 – 2018, DisCos under-collected on their invoices to the tune of N890 billion while also under-remitting to the market which resulted in a debt of N230 billion The report further disclosed that, on average, Discos were only able to collect 67 per cent of their invoices from consumers in the year under review, losing N890 billion in the process.