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Again, Adelabu experienced power outage while addressing NASS

It was an embarrassment Tuesday (today), when the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, was addressing the National Assembly, only to have the power supply abruptly cut off.

It was learnt that Adelabu was in the midst of answering questions from the lawmakers during an investigative hearing on the rising electricity tariff, organized by the Senate Committee on Power, when the incident happened.

However, the power was swiftly restored within five minutes.

The same incident happened five months ago when power went off while the minister was making a presentation in defense of the N344 billion budget for the power ministry.

Lawmakers at the National Assembly, both members of the House of Representatives and the senators had gathered during that December 2023 joint committee session to hear from the minister why the government should allocate a total sum of N344 billion for the ministry and its agencies; but while the minister was speaking in defense of the budget, light went off.

This prompted the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Eyinnaya Abaribe, to say that what the minister had been saying was “implicative.”

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Reflecting on the power interruption today, Abaribe expressed concerns over the implications of the minister’s remarks regarding the stability of electricity supply in the country.

He said, “You see what just happened. This is what we all experience. We, the senators, experience it too, and I am sure even the President does experience it at the Villa, just that he cannot speak out like we can.”

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), under the guidance of the Federal Government, recently approved a significant increase of 340% in electricity tariff for customers classified under Band A.

As stated by the Vice Chairman of NERC, Musliu Oseni, customers in Band A will now be required to pay N225 per kilowatt hour, compared to the previous rate of N66. It is important to note that Band A customers are those who receive 20 hours of electricity supply daily.

Upon further investigation, it was discovered that customers who fall under this classification make up 15% of the total 12 million electricity customers in Nigeria.

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Customers in other bands will not be affected by the tariff review, the minister had said.

In response to the recent tariff increase, the Senate had summoned Adelabu to explain and justify the decision.

Theresa Arike
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