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Nigeria Redirects Trillion Naira from Subsidies to Surge Power Infrastructure

By William Emmanuel Ukpoju

In a significant policy shift, the Nigerian government has announced plans to redirect over N1 trillion saved from the withdrawal of electricity subsidies towards enhancing the country’s power supply and bolstering social services.

The revelation came from the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, during his appearance on Radio Nigeria Kaduna’s “Hannu Da Yawa” program.

The minister highlighted that the current electricity subsidy disproportionately benefits a small fraction of consumers, primarily affluent individuals and industrial clusters, who enjoy up to 20 hours of electricity daily.

This group represents only about 15% of the consumer base but consumes roughly 40% of the subsidy.

Idris emphasized the government’s commitment to reinvesting the saved funds into critical areas such as health and education. He assured that 85% of the population, under various categories of the new electricity supply regime, would continue to receive subsidies.

The newly enacted Electricity Act, signed by President Tinubu, aims to strengthen the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). The Act empowers NERC to impose stringent sanctions on electricity distribution companies for billing and supply infractions.

In addition to power sector reforms, the minister discussed post-fuel subsidy intervention programs. These include the ongoing supply of N100 billion worth of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses and the establishment of CNG conversion centers nationwide.

These measures are expected to encourage Nigerians to switch from fuel to CNG, reducing transportation costs.

Furthermore, Idris mentioned the resumption of the National Social Investment Programme, which will provide N25,000 Conditional Cash Transfers to 15 million poor and vulnerable households for three months, among other interventions.

Addressing concerns of regional bias, the minister reassured that the Federal Government remains dedicated to funding developmental projects across all regions, including the north.

On the agricultural front, the government has expanded the Dry Season Farming Initiative, cultivating essential crops like wheat, rice, cassava, and maize on approximately 500,000 hectares.

Kebbi State, in particular, has emerged as a hub for tomato farming and processing, thanks to a partnership with GB Foods.

The minister’s statements reflect the government’s broader strategy to improve Nigeria’s infrastructure and social welfare systems, ensuring equitable development and prosperity for all citizens.