The Senate has appealed to the Federal Government to consider subsidising electricity for all Nigerians in other to make the power sector more efficient in their operations.
The electricity distribution companies of Nigeria during a meeting with the National Assembly leadership had disclosed that the only condition to halt tariff hike was for the Federal Government to bear the difference between the current tariff and the proposed one.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Senator Gabriel Suswam, while speaking to journalist in Abuja said “Nowhere in the world that power is not subsidised especially in developing economies because there are genuine people, who, because of their income, are unable to pay what is called a cost-reflective tariff.
According to him, “Nigerians are heavily burdened because of COVID-19. The economy has contracted by 3.2 per cent; that’s a lot.
“So it makes you and I to attend to some of our social problems. So, is the government preferring to add a burden or lessen it?
“The president has been doing well, he has spent so much money, and what we expect is that the spending will gradually reduce or diminish as the power sector becomes more efficient”, he said,
“There are two things, one is to make it more efficient and second, the government will back out just like they have done in the oil sector where subsidy has been completely removed.
“Even at that, the government is reducing the pump price. So, should they, in the same vein, increase tariff? It doesn’t make sense.
“I think the executive will agree, even though it’s going to come at a cost. But what cost is more than lessening the burden on the people?”.
Earlier the electricity distribution companies had announced plans to commence the new pricing regime from July 1st where customers will now have to pay higher for their power consumption.
President Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly met with them and called for the suspension of the new tariff regime citing the signs of time as one of its maKorean reason.
However, based on the recommendation of the NASS leadership, the new regime should take effect from the first quarter of 2021.