Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that Nigerians are willing to pay for electricity if the services they receive from the distribution companies are constant and better.
Osinbajo expressed this view while featuring in a webinar on Economic Sustainability Beyond COVID-19 organised by Emmanuel Chapel on Sunday in Abuja.
The Vice President reacted to a question posed by the former Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II.
He reiterated that it was not true that Nigerians did not want to pay more for power, adding that they had been unhappy with the poor service over the years.
“Just to comment on the point you made and I have alluded to it that income elasticity is more important for persons living in the rural area and for the poor who need to have electricity for whatever means of livelihood they have.
“What we have discovered especially as we have worked with the private sector to deploy solar power in different parts of the country is exactly the point you have made.
“For example, in Wuna, a village which is just outside Abuja, they never had light until a private company provided solar power there.
“What they pay on average for their power is well more than the N37 per unit that we pay for power off the grid.
“Turankawa in Sokoto pays almost N100. So, from many of the areas where we have been, it is evident that this business of people not willing to pay for power is not true at all.
“As a matter of fact, the reason there is such great resistance is the service level.
“Most people are used to poor service so they just see every tariff increase as injustice because they are getting poor service but are asked to pay more.
“But where service is guaranteed people have been prepared to pay.’’
He listed Sabon Gari market in Kano, Ariaria market (in Aba) and in Sura market (in Lagos) and so many different parts of the country as instances where people paid for better services.