H.E Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Republic of Nigeria

Nigeria has rejected a report by the World Bank which suggested that over 78 percent of electricity consumers in the West African nation received less than 12 hours of electricity supply daily.

Nigeria is shocked by the conclusion drawn by the World Bank, arguing that it was unclear what empirical evidence the Bank deployed to arrive at the figures.

The Bank had, in an online meeting with energy correspondents in Abuja, last week, stated that a total of 74 percent of power users in Nigeria were dissatisfied with the supply of electricity across the country.

It further disclosed that while 93 percent of metered power users paid their bills regularly, 78 percent of electricity consumers in Nigeria received less than 12 hours of supply daily, stressing that the findings were done after a thorough survey conducted by the global financial institution.

But the Federal Government, in a statement issued by the Presidential Advisor on Infrastructure, Mr. Ahmad Zakari as caried by ThisDayLive, stated that power distribution to consumers had seen steady improvement, even though it had stated last week that 17 of the 25 generation power plants were down, leading to a deterioration in nationwide supply.

While responding to the Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP), a fact sheet released by the Bank, the government noted that it was inaccurate to make a blanket statement on the country’s power sector.

According to the Federal Government, empirical evidence from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) showed that only 55 percent of citizens connected to the grid is in tariff bands D and E which is less than 12 hours’ supply.

“It is inaccurate to make a blanket statement that 78 percent of Nigerians have less than 12 hours daily access. The data from NERC is that 55 percent of citizens connected to the grid are in tariff bands D and E which are less than 12 hours’ supply.

“Those citizens are being fully subsidised to pre-September 2020 tariffs until Discos are able to improve supply. There is a N120 billion CAPEX fund from CBN for Discos to improve infrastructure for these tariff classes similar to the metering programme that is ongoing.”

The Federal Government also kicked against aspects of the Bank’s report which claimed that 58 percent of electricity consumers in the country did not have meters to measure electricity use, dismissing the data as unverifiable.

“It is unclear who did this survey and what the timeframe is. All citizens that have got free meters report they are happy about the reform trajectory,” the statement added.

According to the statement, to date, more than 600,000 meters have been delivered to Distribution Companies (Discos) out of the one million in phase one with installation ongoing and meters being sourced locally, while creating jobs in installation and manufacturing/assembly.

The Federal Government clarified that the Service-Based Tariff (SBT) ensures that citizens pay more only when and if they are receiving a high quality of service.

The Presidential Advisor on Infrastructure, in the statement, said his office enjoyed a robust working relationship with the World Bank and was, therefore, surprised that such a report would be released without the input of other critical stakeholders.

Source: www.energynewsafrica.com

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