Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, has declared that Nigerians have no option but to accept an increment in electricity tariff.
Osinbajo stated this yesterday at the Sixth Presidential Business Forum held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Sixth Presidential Business Forum, which focused on agriculture and its value chains, had the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe; the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah; officials of government agencies and stakeholders in the agriculture sector in attendance.
Speaking at the event, Osinbajo who did not specifically mention the power sector on the plan tariff increment said: “We must pay higher tariffs.
These sorts of things are inevitable. What we are trying to do is not increase tariffs for now, but how we can ensure we clean up the entire value chain. “I’m sure you are aware of the Payment Assurance Guarantee which we put in place for over N700billion to ensure gas is paid for and for liquidity in the whole value chain,” he noted.
The Vice President noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has already directed that a committee be set up to explore the use of government’s intervention funds in agriculture.
“There is no question at all that we must pay higher tariffs,” he said.
He said, however, that government was not going to increase tariff for now but was working towards cleaning the electricity value chain.
He said: “I am chairing a committee to look at how to not only use intervention funds but how to monitor the use of intervention funds.” Osinbajo explained that the idea was to ensure that intervention funds go to the right persons.
The Vice President said that government would not “bring down interest rate overnight,” pointing out that the “way out is by some kind of intervention and that’s what the president has asked that we do.”