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Tinubu and subsidy removal

The Tinubu administration since it came on board has never hidden its desire to remove any subsidy. However, since the removal of subsidy on petrol,…

The Tinubu administration since it came on board has never hidden its desire to remove any subsidy. However, since the removal of subsidy on petrol, which the administration described as a conduit pipe for siphoning government’s funds, the lives of average Nigerians have grown from bad to worse.

The removal of subsidy has resulted in an increase in pump price and cost of doing business in the country. Nigerians have been grappling with the high cost of living.

Though, power sector was privatised during the Obasanjo administration, Nigerians have been paying for darkness as DisCos have failed to provide reliable and efficient power supply.

The removal of electricity subsidy has come at a wrong time when Nigerians are yet to recover from the shock of last year’s hike in price of petrol.

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There is nothing wrong to ensure cost reflectiveness among the numerous energy consumers in the country. The categorisation of customers into different “bands” by NERC can be seen as a good development. The question begging for an answer is: will the new plan address the erratic power supply?

It is a well-known fact, even in developed countries, electricity subsidies exist. Government provides or grants subsidies to companies and other households in order to keep the price of goods and services within the reach of the common man.

The rush with which the Tinubu administration removes subsidies amidst growing poverty in the land calls for great caution.  Already, the Nigeria Union of Electricity has condemned the hike in the tariff and called for immediate reversal. The union chided the minister of power and NERC for not consulting them before they came with the plan.

The federal government should shelve the plan for the removal of the electricity subsidy. Instead, the government needs to improve power supply and exploit other alternative sources of energy such as solar and wind. Government should hasten the completion of the abandoned Mambilla power project to improve power generation and distribution in the country.

 

Ibrahim Mustapha Pambegua, Kaduna State