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FG stopped electricity subsidy in 2022, alleges Falana

Femi Falana Questions Discrepancies in Figures Provided by IMF and Federal Government

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Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has accused the Nigerian government of ceasing electricity subsidy in 2022, contrary to recent claims by government officials.

In a statement released on Sunday, Falana cited statements made by government officials, including the former Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed the removal of electricity subsidy during a virtual meeting with African Finance Ministers and the International Monetary Fund on March 12, 2022.

According to Falana, Ahmed stated, “We have been able to quietly implement subsidy removal in the electricity sector and as we speak, we don’t have subsidies in the electricity sector.”

Falana also referenced remarks made by the incumbent Minister of Power, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu, on January 15, 2024, where he claimed that the Federal Government still subsidises electricity due to the current tariff not being cost-reflective.

However, Falana questioned the rationale behind Adelabu’s statement, particularly in light of previous declarations regarding the cessation of electricity subsidy.

The lawyer highlighted discrepancies in subsidy figures provided by the government, with Adelabu estimating a subsidy of over N3 trillion for 2024, while the IMF projected a lower figure of N2.33 trillion.

Falana called for an inquiry into the conflicting subsidy figures and urged the government to address the issue transparently. He also demanded an investigation into the diversion of N32 billion allocated for the supply of three million prepaid meters, emphasizing the need for accountability in the management of public funds.

The statement comes amid a recent approval by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission for a substantial increase in electricity tariffs, which Falana sees as a pretext for further tariff hikes under the guise of subsidy removal.

Falana’s allegations underscore broader concerns regarding transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s energy sector, as the government grapples with balancing fiscal responsibility and public welfare.

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