Gas producers sell a unit of gas at $4 for buyers outside the country. They sold to Nigerian power generating plants at $1.30 until last year when the old administration succeeded in upping it to $2.30. This new price regime only became operational recently. With the current dollar rates, that is an added incentive to export instead of supply to domestic buyers who will still end up owing. This is the reason why there was little power despite the best efforts of the last administration to embark on about 142 power projects at various stages of completion (Fashola’s figures). There simply was no gas to power them.
We still with not have power unless we do the right thing. Are you not tired of diesel, petrol, noise, generator repairers and all the discomfort associated with running your own private power station? I am tired of it eating into our profit and chasing customers away when we could not provide 24/7 power in our small hotel in Abeokuta. What power or a lack of power has done to that business is terrible and the same applies to many small businesses around the country. What about the many fire disasters with attendant loss of lives and properties?
Lack of power from the grind has caused this country a lot of pain but I believe the current roadmap we are implementing is
the way to go.
So I am with Fashola on this tariff hike. I will rather pay more for the hope of getting more electricity from the national grind than generating my own power with all the attendant costs, risks and pains.
I think the protests are misguided and I want to ask that we all consider the issues carefully. That was how a misguided call to oppose subsidy removal in 2012 allowed trillions of Naira to be legitimately thrown away in the name of a dubious fuel subsidy. Nigerians were willing tools in the legalisation of fraud and all the money we could have saved for the rainy day ended up in the hands of a cabal. Now we know. That protests and those who funded it cost Nigerians a lot and we are still paying.
We cannot afford to take that route. The protest against price hike for electricity is misplaced. Fashola and Buhari should not back down. We voted for change and this constitutes real change to me. We cannot continue to do the same thing and expect a different outcome. I say yes to the tariff hike with the conviction that we will spend less on diesel and petrol for generators going forward. Our lungs and ears will also thank us for swallowing this bitter pill prescribed by our super Minister.
PS: Since I authored and shared this post a few months back, the government has announced the removal of fuel subsidy which is a welcome development. (truth is supreme).