- The House of Representatives is insisting that the Nigerian government provides free electricity for all Nigerians for two months
- Although the minister of power, Saleh Mamman, has insisted that the move will incur high costs
- The green chambers maintained that trying times demands far-reaching decisions by a responsive and responsible government
The House of Representatives has insisted that the Nigerian government provides free electricity for all Nigerians for two months due to the lockdown measures imposed in some parts of the country by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The house was reacting to comments by the minister of power, Engineer Saleh Mamman, who said the move is not feasible and would incur high costs for private investors in the sector.
“While these excuses are debatable, most concerning of all was his argument that the provision of free power would benefit only the rich to the exclusion of the 80 million Nigerians who are not connected to the national power grid,” a statement from the House spokesman, Benjamin Kalu said.
The House noted that: “Energy access for Nigerian households, health facilities, and other vital public services is fundamental to mitigating the most devastating impacts of COVID-19 and ensuring a rapid economic recovery for the nation.
“It is not in doubt that the economic conditions occasioned by the pandemic has made it harder for low-income customers and businesses to pay their electricity bills, threatening them with disconnection.”
The statement further noted that the call by the House for free electricity for Nigerians is borne of a realization that such measures have become necessary to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians.
“We are faced with unprecedented times in the history of Nigeria and it behoves a responsible federal government to innovate ways to alleviate the suffering of people,” the House said.
Kalu said the 9th House of Representatives remains committed to ensuring the welfare of Nigerians, especially the vulnerable households in these trying times.
The House spokesman said the green chamber stands by its call on the federal government to explore ways of granting Nigerians a reprieve from electricity tariffs for two months during this pandemic.
In a related development, the House has urged the federal government to urgently evacuate all Nigerians willing to return and are with valid passports and visas in China.
Honourable Kalu and nine others moved the motion, at the resumed plenary of the lower house on Tuesday, April 28.
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