By Usman Sulyman
The Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, has insisted that the recent increment in electricity bills would take off in July.
He stated this on Tuesday, 16, June 2020 at the Investigative Public Hearing on Power Sector Recovery Plan and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic organised by the Senate Committee on Power.
Mamman said COVID-19 pandemic has affected the laid out plans for the reformulation of the electricity market towards financial sustainability under the Power Sector Recovery Programme.
According to him, the regulator, following the completion of public consultation on tariff review, has initially planned to conduct a tariff review in April 2020.
He, however, said that due to the COVID-19 outbreak and customer disinterest, the proposed tariff review was delayed by three months.
He said, “The impact of this means the subsidy being incurred in maintaining the current tariff level had to be maintained till July 2020 when the proposed tariff review will be implemented.
“The challenge we are currently facing in the development and expansion of our transmission line is budget and release of Federal Government’s commitment in the estimated sum of N32 bn primarily for right of way acquisition and environmental impact alleviation.
“The funds should be provided for in the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Appropriation of the Ministry of Power.”
Mamman also said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a great economic impact not just on the health sector but on other sectors including overall economy, stressing that, “indeed, the existence of the pandemic has already reduced productivity due to the strategy adopted globally to contain it.