Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday disclosed that payment of high electricity tariffs is inevitable for Nigerian electricity users, even as he urged Nigerians to brace for a new regime.
Mr. Osinbajo said this while speaking at the Sixth Presidential Business Forum held at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The forum, which focused on agriculture and its value chains, had the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe; the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah; officials of government agencies and stakeholders in the agriculture sector in attendance.
Prof Osinbajo said there is no question at all about the tariff increase, adding however, that government was not going to implement it now but was working towards cleaning the electricity value chain.
“Listening to questions concerning lower tariffs, we must pay higher tariffs, these sorts of things are inevitable,” Mr. Osinbajo said.
“What we are trying to do is not increase tariffs for now, but how we can ensure we clean up the entire value chain. I’m sure you are aware of the Payment Assurance Guarantee which we put in place for over N700 billion to ensure gas is paid for and for liquidity in the whole value chain.”
“Today, we will be meeting with the World Bank on a scheme they have been working with us on to fund the entire value chain, and ensure we transit smoothly from where we are, to a much more market-determined policy for electricity. This will involve a fair amount of subsidy and help, the Federal Government and World Bank are working together on that. There is no way of sustaining the current subsidies long term, but we want to ensure the process is smooth.”