2022 budget: Analysts reply finance minister on exploitation of electricity consumers




The Association for Public Policy Analysis (APPA) has tackled the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, and Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, over the exploitation of electricity consumers, demanding urgent intervention.

In an interview with our reporter in Abuja, the National President of APPA, Comrade Princewill Okorie, said that electricity consumers are being exploited by electricity distribution companies, without interference by government and stakeholders in the power sector.

He said: “The Association for Public Policy Analysis (APPA) is constrained to express our shock and disbelief over the response of the Honourable Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, and Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, to our question as to whether the projected receipts captured in the proposed 2022 Federal Appropriation include receipts from profit made by Licensed Electricity Distribution Companies (LEDC) from payments made by consumers of electricity in the country since 2013; when power sector privatisation took effect.

“We also raised question on the partial implementation of sections of Electric Power Sector Reform Act (2005), in favor of Licensed Electricity Distribution Companies and against consumers by Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and other government agencies in the power sector, which is in contravention of section 32(1) (f) of the EPSRA 2005, which provides that NERC should ensure that regulation is fair and balanced to licensees, consumers, investors and other stakeholders.

“Surprisingly, the response of the D. G Budget Office to consumer issues was that it is the mandate of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to handle consumer issues in the power sector and challenged consumers thus: “So, if there is a specific complain, direct it to NERC, hold them to account”.