Incessant Grid Collapse: Senate Asks FG To Reverse Withdrawal Of Power Sector Subsidy

Having come to terms with the enormity of bottlenecks in the power sector, the Senate Committee on Power has asked the Federal Government to reverse its decision to withdraw subsidy intervention for the sector. This came as the Federal Government seeks to end tariff shortfall averaging N200 billion yearly in the sector by the end of 2023. Between 2015 and 2020, the shortfall reportedly stood at about N2.4 trillion, averaging N200 billion yearly. The shortfall accrued from suppressed charges for electricity consumption. However, the committee chairman, Senator Gabriel Suswam, during interphase with stakeholders in the power sector, said there was a need to go back to the subsidy issue. National grid collapse has continued to pose serious challenges, in spite of huge financial commitment by the government. In 2017, Nigeria witnessed 15 grid collapses; in 2018, 12 cases; nine in 2019; four in 2020; two in 2021, and three in the first quarter of 2023, between March and April. Worried by these statistics, Senate mandated the committee to engage the Ministry of Power, Transmission Company of Nigeria, and other actors for explanations. The vandalization of power installations and inadequate supply of gas to power turbines were also identified as challenges. Suswam said: “There are different explanations from different parastatals and the ministry. Nobody actually knows what the problems are. “Nigerians have been subjected to very high epileptic service. The tariff has not abated. Rather, we hear rumors of tariff increase when Nigerians are not getting the energy they are paying for.” The Minister of State for Power listed the causes of the collapse and explained that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has been directed to approve $50 million in special gas pricing for the sector. He explained further that the ministry is considering the implementation of a new surveillance technology that will check vandalism.


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