Minister Apologizes for Electricity Tariff Comments

Minister Adebayo Adelabu has offered an apology to Nigerians for his recent remarks regarding electricity consumption and tariffs. Speaking on Channels Television’s “Politics Today,” Adelabu expressed regret for any offense caused by his previous statements.

His comments had sparked criticism from the public after he suggested that Nigerians kept freezers running for days due to low electricity tariffs. Adelabu’s remarks, made during a press briefing in Abuja on April 4, 2024, drew widespread condemnation for being insensitive.

Defending the decision to revise electricity tariffs, Adelabu emphasized the legal mandate of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to conduct such reviews. He cited the Electricity Act of 2023, which grants NERC authority to adjust tariffs biannually based on economic factors.

Adelabu also justified the reduction of government subsidies for electricity, citing budgetary constraints and the need for fiscal responsibility. He explained that the subsidy reduction was necessary to prevent excessive strain on the government’s finances, particularly amid a total budget of N28 trillion for 2024.

Furthermore, Adelabu outlined the rationale behind categorizing electricity consumers into different bands based on infrastructure quality and distribution capabilities. He clarified that the tariff adjustments were intended to affect only a minority of customers with better infrastructure, while the majority would continue to benefit from subsidies.

In addressing concerns about the legality of the tariff increase, Adelabu reiterated that NERC’s authority to review tariffs was firmly established in law and conducted in accordance with prescribed intervals and economic indicators.

Adelabu’s apology and clarification seek to assuage public discontent while reaffirming the government’s commitment to addressing the challenges within the power sector transparently and responsibly.


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