Power, Public Works and Housing Minister Babatunde Fashola said on Friday that the federal government will soon launch a lawsuit against energy thieves.
He said this would start when the department finishes its current audit to resolve the counting problem.
Fashola said at an interactive session with members of Civil Society organizations and media on Friday in Lagos.
The civil society groups included the Center for Democracy and Economic and Social Rights, the Alliance for Good Governance, the Basic Democratic Initiative and the Center for Human Economic and Social Rights.
He said some influential people in the country are not paying for power, adding plans are ongoing to persecute them and retreat to the power grid.
Fashola, however, said the government would address the problems facing the energy Sector before imposing sanctions on energy thieves.
Fashola explained that the ministry, in dealing with privatization issues in the power sector, requested the help of the World Bank whose private branch did not give money to the government.
Guns are lending and guaranteeing only private companies.
He said the proposals of distribution and manufacturing companies were not part of the World Bank project because they are local solutions for energy issues.
He said the role of the private sector in the energy project would help the government to better perform its functions to stimulate the economy.
"When you look at the state contributions of Nigeria's GDP, there are nine, 10%, the private sector contribution is 90%," he said.
The minister said that the most developed countries do not subsidize public services, but privatize efficiency sectors.
He explained that, unlike public perceptions, tariffs can sometimes be adjusted downwards based on market forces.
He explained legal attitudes to some groups of civil society that were previously taken over by court authorities over customs matters.
"You can not sue someone who has no authority. The regulatory body is a NERC (Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission) and an agency that has to act independently.
"What is the case with the minister of communication with his cell phone," he asked.
He urged members of the public to cancel energy thieves, pointing out that it would help clubs to perform their duties.
"NERC works on regulating the meter, the privatization of the power sector, but the industry is largely regulated by NERC.
"So, to do something, you have to follow the rules," he said.
The minister said NERC is currently working on mini-grids, deregulating privileged customers and waiting for the counterattack.
"Everyone assumes that discs are provided by meters, disks do not have the capital to do so, and that their work is not really the power of the gauges, their work is a source of energy.
"They need a meter to measure and pay us.
"So the regulations coming now would open benchmarks for private people who would come and serve as private providers of franchisee or franchisees," he said.
He said the market was changing so that people and investors decided to be franchisees or service providers for community counting.
Fashola said there were several logistical questions pertaining to permanent home checks to catch them in the correct counting category.
He added that, when sector privatization was previously done, there were only 6.5 million homes based on data showing that some people spent electricity without paying.