Fed Govt faults World Bank’s power sector survey
The Federal Government on Tuesday disagreed with the World Bank on its survey report, which claimed that 78 per cent of consumers in Nigeria get less than 12 hours of power supply daily.
Responding to the Power Sector Recovery Programme Opinion Research Fact Sheet released by the World Bank last Friday, the Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure, Ahmad Rufai Zakari, said: “It is inaccurate to make a blanket statement that 78 per cent 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,” pointing out that there is a N120 billion capital expenditure (CAPEX) fund from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for DisCos to improve infrastructure for these tariff classes similar to the metering programme that is ongoing.”
Zakari added: “It is unclear who did this survey and what the time frame is. All citizens that have gotten 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.”
Zakari said the Service Based Tariff ensures that citizens pay more only when and if they are receiving 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 four out of five Nigerians are not intelligent enough to understand tariff classes and what they are paying for,” he stated.
He said his office enjoyed a robust working relationship with the World Bank and was taken aback that such a report would be published without input of other critical stakeholders.
“We have a good working relationship with the World Bank but metrics around the Nigerian Power Sector will come from the Ministry of Power, NERC, the Central Bank also regularly publishes intervention data. The Presidential Power Sector Reform Coordination Working Group also supports data access from the relevant agencies, adding that it is uncommon to publish such data without the right consultation, fact checking and context,” the statement added.