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Nigerian Government to reinvest electricity subsidy savings in improved energy supply, social services –Minister

Alhaji Mohammed Idris, Honourable Minister for Information and National Orientation (far right), in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria Photo: Mohammed Idris/X

*Mohammed Idris, Minister for Information and National Orientation, discloses the funds to be saved from withdrawal of electricity subsidy will be reinvested in improving power supply and enhancing other vital social services, including health and education

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In line with the ongoing reform, especially the estimated sizeable cut in payable subsidy on electricity, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, Honourable Minister for Information and National Orientation, has said about N1.3trillion the Nigerian Government would save from the withdrawal of electricity subsidy will be reinvested in improving power supply and provision of social services for consumers.

Idris disclosed this development while featuring as a guest on the popular Hausa audience participatory programme of Radio Nigeria Kaduna called “Hannu Da Yawa”, at the weekend, in Kaduna State.

Rabiu Ibrahim, Special Assistant to the Minister on Media, in a statement, noted Idris said the disproportionate amount of electricity subsidy, approximately 40 percent, was benefiting only about 15 percent of the electricity consumers.

According to the Minister, this category of power consumers comprise affluent individuals and industrial clusters, who enjoy about 20 hours of electricity in the energy ecosystem.

Idris stated: “It is essential to emphasise that the funds to be saved from the withdrawal of electricity subsidy will be reinvested in enhancing power supply across the country and improving other vital social services such as health and education.”

He also explained that 85 percent of the West African country’s population who fall under the different categorisations of the new electricity supply regime still enjoy the subsidy.

Idris further noted the new Electricity Act, which President Bola Ahmed Tinubu signed, has strengthened the governance structure of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)

He equally stated that the Act empowers the Commission to place severe sanctions on electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) for infractions relating to billings and supply of electricity to consumers.

On post-fuel subsidy intervention programmes As regards the government’s post-fuel subsidy intervention programmes, Idris reaffirmed the supply of N100 billion worth of CNG buses is still on track as the specification of the buses is not bought off the shelf.

According to him, the government would soon launch CNG conversion centres across the country to encourage Nigerians to convert their vehicles from fuel consumption to CNG to reduce the cost of transportation.

The Minister stated the Committee set up by the President to review the operational mechanism of the National Social Investment Programme has submitted its report to pave the way for the resumption of the programmes.

The programme, he noted, will be providing N25,000 Conditional Cash Transfers to 15 million poor and vulnerable households for three months, among other interventions.

Tinubu administration will continue development projects in the North, says Idris

The Minister for Information and National Orientation further used the platform to dispel the notion in some quarters that the Tinubu Administration appears to shortchange the Northern part of the country.

Idris stressed that the Federal Government would continue to invest funds in the development of projects in the North.

In the agricultural sector, he highlighted the Federal Government has expanded the cultivation of wheat, rice, cassava, and maize, under the Dry Season Farming Initiative, on about 500,000 hectares of farmland.

Idris stated: “The President has mandated us to go out and feel the pulse of the nation and report back to him.

“We were in Dutse, Auyo, and Hadejia and interacted with the farmers about the successes of the dry season farming in those areas.”

The Minister as well expressed delight that Kebbi State is now a hub of tomato farming and processing in Nigeria through collaboration with a leading food processing firm, GB Foods.

ConsumerConnect reports the company has set up a sprawling factory for the production of tomato paste.

According to him, plenty of farmers, mostly women are now involved in tomato farming in Kebbi State because of the enabling environment and support from the off-taker, GB Foods, which has shown a remarkable commitment to doing business in Nigeria.

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