An energy expert, Mr Patrick Okigbo, has said that many Nigerians are not paying for electric power because there is not enough disposable income.
Okigbo said on Friday that what the average Nigerian earned was not enough to pay all the bills and would rather give preference to other commodities and services such as food and shelter.
He said, “Now if you go to the consumer end you can say that people are not paying because there is power theft but the fundamental thing is maybe people are not paying because the disposable income has pretty much disappeared.
“If a guy who earns N18,000 in the past could spend N1,000 in paying for power when that N18,000 is equivalent to almost 100 dollars, today where that N18,000 is about 50 dollars or less.
“Then he has to make a choice. Do I pay for food or do I pay for power?
“Now that could push a few people to tap and steal power, that can also push a few people not to pay at all.’’
Okigbo said the country was experiencing power outage because most of the power plants were being run on gas.
According to him, each time gas pipelines are blown up by militants in the Niger Delta, it means power generation companies will not be able to get enough gas to run the turbines.
He said, “One of the reasons for the shortage of power supply is the inability to pay for the gas because there is about a trillion naira shortfall in the entire power sector.
“So monies that have been spent by the GENCOs and a few other people along the value chain are not coming back (as turnover) through payment from consumers to pay back everybody on the value chain.”