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Heatwave: Tinubu completes ‘miserable’ weather for Nigerians with plans to halt subsidies on electricity

The Nigerian government has announced plans to end subsidies on electricity in a significant policy shift aimed at addressing economic challenges.

Nigerians are facing a double whammy as scorching heatwave coincides with widespread power outages that have seen many areas experience total darkness for days on end. As Nigeria’s power supply challenges worsen, there appears to be no respite in the coming days, with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) announcing on Wednesday that the excessive heat being currently experienced in the country  would remain so for a while.

Minister of Power Adebayo Adelabu told the media in the capital, Abuja, that the decision followed the poor electricity supply situation in the country due to numerous issues including outstanding subsidy debt, and the mounting pressure to reform the country’s energy sector and improve fiscal sustainability.

InsideNigeria reports that Nigeria is currently indebted to the tune of 1.3 trillion nairas (about 857.5 million U.S. dollars) and 1.3 billion dollars owed to gas companies. The government had budgeted 450 billion nairas for electricity subsidy this year but over 2 trillion nairas were needed for that, the minister said.

Adelabu said state governments will now be allowed to generate power independently to supply power to their states, emphasizing that the proposed subsidy removal was part of broader efforts by the federal government to streamline operations and foster efficiency within the electricity sector.

The announcement has sparked mixed reactions among Nigerians, with some expressing concerns about the potential impact on household budgets, particularly in the face of existing economic challenges.