Nigerian Government has refuted a report by the World Bank which stated that over 78 percent of electricity consumers in Nigeria received less than 12 hours of electricity supply daily.
Last week, the bank in its Power Sector Recovery Program (PSRP) fact sheet, reported that a total of 74 percent of power users in Nigeria were dissatisfied with the supply of electricity across the country, adding that
It added that while 93 percent of metered power users paid their bills regularly, 78 percent of electricity consumers in Nigeria received less than 12 hours of supply daily, stressing that the findings were done after a thorough survey conducted by the global financial institution.
However, in a statement released on Sunday, the Federal Government of Nigeria rejected the report insisting that power distribution to consumers has been steadily improving.
A statement released by the Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure, Ahmad Zakari, said: “It is inaccurate to make a blanket statement that 78 percent of Nigerians have less than 12 hours daily access. The data from NERC is that 55 per cent of citizens connected to the grid are in tariff bands D and E which are less than 12 hours supply.
“Those citizens are being fully subsidised to pre-September 2020 tariffs until Discos are able to improve supply. There is a N120 billion CAPEX fund from CBN for Discos to improve infrastructure for these tariff classes similar to the metering programme that is ongoing.”
The Government also kicked against aspects of the bank’s report which claimed that 58 percent of electricity consumers in the country did not have meters to measure electricity use, dismissing the data as unverifiable.
“It is unclear who did this survey and what the timeframe is. All citizens that have got free meters report they are happy about the reform trajectory.
“To date, more than 600,000 meters have been delivered to DisCos out of the one million in phase 0 with installation ongoing. Meters are sourced locally and are creating jobs in installation and manufacturing/assembly.”
The Government clarified that the Service-Based Tariff (SBT) ensures that citizens pay more only when and if they are receiving a high quality of service.
“All consumers have been communicated their bands and bands are published during billing. It is inconceivable that anyone would imply that 4 out of 5 Nigerians are not intelligent enough to understand tariff classes and what they are paying for.”
Zakari said his office enjoyed a robust working relationship with the World Bank and was, therefore, surprised that such a report would be released without the input of other critical stakeholders.
The statement noted: “We have a good working relationship with the bank but metrics around the Nigerian power sector will come from the ministry of power, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) while the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) also regularly publishes intervention data.”