The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has apologized to Nigerians for saying he never intended to insult their sensibilities regarding the statement that they keep freezers on for days due to the low electricity tariff.

During an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Adelabu expressed remorse, stating, “We regret any remarks that might have caused offense. Our intention was never to belittle or insult anyone.”

Recall the minister faced heavy criticism for comments suggesting Nigerians lacked a culture of managing electricity consumption due to affordable power rates.

His remarks came after the government announced tariff adjustments for Band A consumers, sparking widespread outrage and calls for his resignation.

However, on Thursday, Adelabu expressed regret over his comment, saying it “was never intended to insult the sensibilities of Nigerians in anyway”.

“It was an innocent advice with regards to energy consumption management which we believe will go a long way in reducing people’s energy bills. And that advice was directed at those that we believe that because of the recent increase in tariff will start enjoying 20 hours of power per day,” he said.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had recently announced a tariff increase for customers receiving 20 hours of daily power supply, classified under Band A.

This adjustment will entail customers paying N225 per kilowatt-hour, a significant jump from the current N66 rate.

The timing of the hike, coupled with prevailing economic challenges, has led to widespread discontent among Nigerians.

Addressing concerns, the minister emphasized that the tariff adjustment would impact only a fraction, approximately 1.5 million—of the sector’s 12 million consumers.

Despite this reassurance, public dissatisfaction persists, underscoring the need for transparent communication and collaborative solutions in navigating Nigeria’s energy landscape.

April 12, 2024

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