The current pandemic which has been affecting almost all sectors of the economy has moved towards the electricity sector. Prior to the outbreak of the virus into the country, the Ministry of power started a review on electricity tariff to be implemented by April,2020. However, with the outbreak of the virus coupled with customer’s sympathy, the ministry delayed the review of electricity tariff for the past three months.
During the Investigative Public Hearing on Power Sector Recovery Plan and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic organised by the Senate Committee on Power, The Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, says the new increment in electricity tariff would take off in July as the COVID-19 pandemic had affected the laid, out plan for the repositioning of the electricity market towards financial sustainability under the Power Sector Recovery Programme
The minister briefly explained how the virus has affected the power sector. He said, “Indeed, the prevalence of the pandemic has already reduced productivity due to the strategy adopted globally to contain it’. A reduced productivity translates to a reduced output and therefore, lower income or loss of revenue. “This by default affects the purchasing power of consumers and the demand for electricity in general, he added.
“The current situation in the Nigerian power sector is that a lot of capital investment is being made, most of which is dependent on donor funding, loans and budgetary allocations.
“For projects that we have already secured their funding, we do not expect any adverse effect.”
He continued; “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 N32bn primarily for right of way acquisition and environmental impact mitigation.
“This explains our prayer for the distinguished senators to consider and approve additional funding for the execution of the various projects we are undertaking,” he said. He added that the power sector was also grappling with the challenges of infrastructural misalignment, market inefficiency/transparency, sector governance/policy coordination, and completion of legacy projects.
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