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Minister Adebayo Adelabu Apologises for Saying, ‘Nigerians Keep Their Freezers on Because of Low Tariffs’

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ABUJA, Nigeria – Adebayo Adelabu, Nigeria’s Minister of Power, has issued an apology for his controversial remarks about the country’s electricity consumption habits.

His comments, which suggested that Nigerians misuse electricity by keeping their freezers on for days because of low tariffs, sparked widespread backlash.

“Anything we have said that are considered offensive, we are sorry about that,” Adelabu expressed with slight remorse while speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Thursday, April 11, 2034.

The controversy began when Adelabu, on April 4, 2024, told journalists in Abuja that Nigerians lack a culture of managing electricity consumption, attributing this behavior to the “cheap” power supply.

His statement followed the government’s announcement of a tariff increase for Band A consumers, leading to calls from some quarters for his removal.

However, Adelabu clarified his remarks on Thursday, explaining that his original intent was to offer “innocent advice” about energy consumption management, which he believes could help reduce energy bills.

This advice, he noted, was particularly aimed at those expected to experience increased electricity availability following the tariff adjustment.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had on April 3, 2024, raised electricity tariffs for customers who enjoy up to 20 hours of power supply daily.

Customers in this category, known as Band A, will now pay N225 per kilowatt-hour, up from the previous rate of N66. The increase has been heavily criticized given the current economic difficulties facing many Nigerians.

Adelabu reassured that the new tariff hike would impact only 1.5 million of the roughly 12 million consumers in the sector, targeting those with the most reliable access to electricity.

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