Mr Usman Mohammed, Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has said that consumers should be prepared to pay more for electricity in order to ensure regular power supply in the country.
The TCN boss said this on Friday in Lagos during the Groundbreaking for the Replacement of old wires on the Ikeja West-Alimosho-Ogba-Alausa-Ota Transmission Lines.
“I want to tell the Nigerian public that we cannot move forward if we do not pay more for electricity.
“There is no relationship between poverty and payment for electricity.
“For the poor, give them electricity and a means of measurement and manage their cost.
“But if we don’t initiate a cost reflective tariff system and the situation continues like this, public funds would continue to sink in the sector in futility,” Muhammed said.
The TCN boss also urged the government to stop subsidizing the power sector in order to move the sector forward.
“We have to be prepared to remove government in the middle, this issue of government guaranteeing everybody won’t work.
“The facts is that contracts are not effective and government cannot continue guaranteeing the Generation Companies (GENCOs) where it already sank over N1.5 trillion.
“The expenses can only be stopped when contracts become effective through cost reflective tarrifs.
“We have to stop this government intervention and we can only stop it when contracts become effective.
“Contracts can only be effective when you have cost-reflective tariffs.
“When contracts are effective, everybody is binded by certain agreements,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria has the cheapest electricity in West Africa and we can’t say we are the poorest.
“Even Burkina Faso is having collection efficiency of 98 per cent, despite their location within the sub region, we therefore have to solve the problem of market issues,” said the TCN boss.