Saleh Mamman, minister of power, says federal government spent over N50 billion monthly on subsidising electricity so as not to take energy away from the reach of the common man.
Receiving members of the Hausa Guild of Actors and Film Producers, otherwise known as Kannywood, on Tuesday, the minister said the funds were provided to augment the shortfall by distribution companies (DisCos) who have failed to pay for the electricity supply wheeled to them.
In a statement, Aaron Artimas, special adviser on media and communications to Mamman, said the minister expressed serious concern over the failure of the DisCos to stabilise their operations and meet their financial obligations to other players in the sector.
He said following a minor increase in the tariff regime, the subsidy has now decreased by half, but still constitutes a serious drain on the nation’s economy.
“Nigerians must understand that these companies were privatised long before the advent of this administration but the government has no alternative than to continue managing the sector before a final solution is secured,” the minister said.
“Through the Presidential Power Initiative and other intervention measures, the government is diligently working to massively resolve all these inherited problems that have continuously frustrated the success of the sector.”
The minister noted that most of the DisCos were sold off and managed as family businesses, which has made the power firms difficult to be professionally managed.
He added that Nigerians now enjoy stable power supply from fifteen to twenty four hours daily.
Mamman called on DisCos to expedite action on the distribution of meters free of charge to their consumers as a way of lessening their problems.