Abuja, Nigeria — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 29 February 2012 – There are fears that the Federal Government of Nigeria has sealed plans to further increase the current tariff charged by the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) by over 12% from April, 2012.

Minister for power Bart Nnaji observed that the current dwindling fortune being experienced in the power sector was due the inability of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to pay its bills, hence, there was a need to increase tariffs.

Nnaji further explained that although there had been a delay in the transformation programme the entire exercise would be concluded by the fourth quarter of 2012.

“We are currently experiencing delay of about two months, but it is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of this year. The process has resulted in expressions of interest from companies and we are listening to them,” he added. “Evaluation and negotiations will commence in July 2012,” he stated.

Nnaji gave the assurance that on completion of the entire transformation exercise, no worker would lose his job because prospective investors would need their services.

Besides the labour issue, he listed lack of adequate gas supply as one of the challenges that must be tackled, which will allow gas-powered stations to generate electricity for the national demand.

“Gas has been a major challenge to electricity supply in the country. Give me gas and I promise you more power. You cannot grow power stations without gas,” he concluded.