Taking Responsibility: Minister’s Apology for Freezer Tariff Comment

Minister's Apology for Freezer Tariff Comment
Minister of Power apologises for saying Nigerians keep freezers on due to low tariff

Minister’s Apology for Freezer Tariff Comment

Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has issued an apology to Nigerians for his previous remarks regarding electricity tariffs, acknowledging that some of his statements may have been considered offensive. Speaking on Channels Television’s “Politics Today” program, Adelabu expressed remorse for any remarks that might have caused offense, emphasizing a commitment to rectifying misunderstandings.

Adelabu’s apology comes after facing criticism for comments made during a press briefing in Abuja on April 4, 2024. At the briefing, he suggested that Nigerians’ use of freezers for extended periods was due to the affordability of electricity tariffs. He defended the decision to review electricity tariffs, citing the authority granted to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) by the Electricity Act 2023.

In his clarification on “Politics Today,” Adelabu reiterated the government’s stance on the necessity of reducing subsidies in the power sector, highlighting the significant financial burden such subsidies impose on the government. He emphasized the need for a more equitable distribution of subsidies, ensuring that the government can allocate resources to other critical sectors within the national budget.

Adelabu outlined the rationale behind the tariff review, stating that it aimed to reduce subsidies while ensuring that a majority of customers could still benefit from subsidized electricity. He explained that the review targeted approximately 15% of customers, categorized as Band A, who have relatively better infrastructure and can afford the new electricity tariff. This targeted approach, he argued, would enable the government to allocate resources more efficiently and address infrastructure challenges in the power sector.

Addressing concerns about the legality of the tariff increase, Adelabu clarified that the review process is lawful, as outlined in the Electricity Act 2023, which mandates biannual tariff reviews based on economic indices. He emphasized the importance of adhering to legal frameworks and ensuring transparency in the tariff review process.

Adelabu’s apology and clarification underscore the government’s commitment to addressing the challenges in the power sector and promoting transparency in policy decisions. It also reflects a willingness to engage with stakeholders and address concerns raised by the public regarding electricity tariffs and subsidy reforms.


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