COVID-19: Nigerians must enjoy 2-month free electricity – Reps

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In a bid to mitigate the hardship of Nigerians during the coronavirus pandemic, the 11 electricity distribution companies (DisCos) in Nigeria had earlier said they’re working with the federal government to provide two-month free electricity for Nigerians.

In contradiction to the claim of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) about the non feasibility of the proposal, the house of representative has insisted that the proposed free electricity for Nigerians be implemented to cushion the effect of COVID- 19 pandemic on citizens.

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Benjamin Kalu, spokesperson of the house, in a statement on Thursday, disclosed that it would be bad if poor citizens are denied the right to free power during this turbulent time.

“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,” he said.

“The call by the House for free electricity for Nigerians is borne of a realization that similar measures have become necessary to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians as we try to battle and emerge from this pandemic.

“We therefore maintain that it is unconscionable to the over 100 million low and middle income earners in Nigeria whose income has been affected by the pandemic, to deprive them of this electricity tariff reprieve for fear that it would benefit the rich who do not constitute up to 10% of Nigeria’s population. It amounts to a disturbing case of punishing the majority for the sake of the few.

“We must therefore consider the example of other nations, including Ghana which innovated ways to absorb the electricity tariffs of all lifeline customers (persons who consume zero to 50 kilowatts-hours a month) and provide a 50% relief for higher income residential and commercial customers.

“We are faced with unprecedented times in the history of Nigeria and it behooves a responsible federal government to innovate ways to alleviate the suffering of people.”

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