by Lekan Olanrewaju
Last month, there had been reports of plans to increase Nigerian power tariffs by as high as 88%.
The Senate Committee on Power, recently, met with the Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji in order to discuss the alleged 88% increase.
However, the Minister responded saying that the tariff hike was around 51%, as opposed to the 88% making the rounds.
The minister also stated that the tariff hike was necessary in order to enable investors participate in the industry as the previous tariffs were not attractive from a profit-making perspective.
“Without the increase in tariff, there will be no investment in Nigeria.” he said. “If we say that we will wait until power improves, who will improve the power?”
The Chairman of the Committee, Philip Aduda, stated: “Although it is necessary to encourage both local and foreign investors in the power sector, efforts should be made to avoid a situation where Nigerians are exploited by shylock investors.”
The minister also said ₦60 billion had been earmarked in the 2012 budget as subsidies for providing electricity to the poor.