President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday for the first time personally defended the recent hike in price of premium motor spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol and electricity tariff.
President Buhari spoke on the decisions which had attracted criticisms from some Nigerians, especially opposition political parties and analysts at the First Year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat held at the Conference Centre of the State House, Abuja.
The President, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said that he was not happy with the quality of service being offered by the Distribution Companies of Nigeria (DISCOs).
As a result, the President said his administration was pursuing a mass metering program to provide meters for over 5 million Nigerians.
He said protecting the poor and vulnerable, while ensuring improved service in the power sector remained a major priority for his administration.
The President said: “The other painful adjustment that we have had to make in recent days is a review of the electricity tariff regime. If there is one thing that we have heard over and over again, it is that Nigerians want consistent and reliable power supply. So, the power sector remains a critical priority for the administration.
“Protecting the poor and vulnerable, while ensuring improved service in the power sector, is also a major priority for Government. And our policies, like the social investment programmes and other socio-economic schemes to benefit Nigerians, show that we remain focused on improving the welfare of the common man.
“In addressing the power problems, we must not forget that most Nigerians are not even connected to electricity at all. So, as part of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), we are providing Solar home systems to 5 million Nigerian households (impacting up to 25 million individual Nigerians) in the next 12 months.
“We have already begun the process of providing financing support through the CBN for manufacturers and retailers of Off Grid Solar Home Systems and Mini-Grids who are to provide the systems.