Power generation companies (GenCos) in the country are now insisting that the Federal Government must increase electricity tariff due to “high business costs”.
The Vice Chairman, Mainstream Energy Solution, Ismaila Funtua, made the demand in an interview with State House correspondents on the sidelines of the Quarterly Presidential Business Forum held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Funtua also disclosed that the representatives of the Gencos had asked for a meeting with the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, and the Minister of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria Governor and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing to sort out issues that were serving as impediments to their business.
He said the GenCos were asking the government to stop subsidising electricity and “let those who can pay for it do so”.
His words: “Whether the government likes it or not, they have to review the tariff of power in this country. All those playing politics with it that they do not want to increase, people do not want to hear of this.
“This is my cell phone, you pay for it even before you make use of it and nobody is controlling their tariff. They charge what they want and all of us we have at least one cell phone, therefore government needs to do the needful.
“If the government wants power, then they cannot continue subsidising for people. You were there when the Minister of Power was saying that people who have ability to pay will pay, but those government needs to subsidise will be subsidised for.”
“Many people are talking about the review of the privatisation of power without knowing where we started from, where we are today, are we owed money or are we not owed money?
“These monies, some of them belong to the banks, some of them belong to us, where are we today? That is why we cannot discuss with the Acting President here in this assembly, we asked for a private meeting where serious decisions can be taken.”
“The way we are going, we are producing power; government cannot pay because they have no business paying. You are consuming power, you want the government to pay for you. It is not right.
“You are using cell phone, government is not paying for that, you pay for it yourself. We are used to wastage of power, you leave your living room and leave the power on. If you know you are paying the right tariff, you will switch the power off.”
Also calling for tariff hike, the Managing Director, Egbin Power Plc, Kola Adesina, said there were costs that the Gencos incurred in trying to generate electricity and the current structures on ground were not business-friendly since electricity was not political but business inclined.