The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, says Nigeria cannot continue to subsidize electricity, adding that the nation must begin to move towards a cost-effective tariff model, as the country is currently indebted to the tune of 1.3 trillion nairas to generating companies (GenCos) and 1.3 billion dollars owed gas companies.
Adelabu, addressed a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, said only N450 billion was budgeted for subsidy this year but the ministry needs over 2 trillion naira for subsidy.
He said state governments will now be allowed to generate power independently to supply power to their states.
On the grid that has collapsed about six times between December 2023 and now, he said this was caused by a shortage of gas, aging machines in the grid value chain, low capacity to evacuate generated power, and destruction of power stations in some parts of the North-East geopolitical zone of the country.
He said the Transmission Company of Nigeria has over 100 abandoned projects due to variations in contract figures as a result of the fluctuations of the forex, hence the company will not award any new contracts till all such projects are completed.
The minister also said over N50 billion has been earmarked in the 2024 budget to build mini-grids to supply power to remote areas.
He said electricity distribution companies (DisCos) should sit up otherwise anyone found wanting will have his license withdrawn.
The minister also said he has reached out to the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu to help provide security for power infrastructure.