The Speaker of the House of Representative, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, has asked the Federal Government to waive electricity tariffs for two months.
Speaking during a meeting between the leadership of the National Assembly and the Executive on Wednesday in Abuja, Gbajabiamila emphasised the need for an all-inclusive relief package for Nigerians arising from the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
He noted that the most effective means of alleviating the financial burden of the stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of the virus is for the Federal Government to give a 100 per cent waiver on the electricity consumed by every household in the country.
Members of the executive include the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed; the Minister of State on Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emiefiele; the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari and others on the update of the COVID-19 interventions.
“I’m looking forward to a robust package, that will include succour to the Nigerian people, that is the issue of electricity, just for two months,” Gbajabiamila was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his spokesman, Lanre Lasisi.
“I had this argument with somebody the other day and he failed to see something until I pointed it out to him that if an average man, and for argument sake, pays N10,000 for electricity in a month, and you tell him that government will subsidize your electricity 100%, that we have the guarantees and undertakings by the DisCos and GenCos that your electricity supply will not flicker for a moment for two months. Do you know what you’ve done invariably? You’ve loosened that N10,000, you freed up that N10,000 for him to do other things with.
“In other words, the government has given him N10,000, which we all know what people are asking for right now. By saving him the N10,000 on his electricity bill, the government has given him N10,000,” the statement read in part.
According to the Speaker, the Ghanaian government has done that to make life more bearable for the citizens as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gbajabiamila also called for a more robust relationship between the National Executive and the Federal Government for the overall interest of Nigerians.
In response to this, the Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed informed the lawmakers that the Ministry is set to present a revised 2020 national budget as well as the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF)/ Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).
She said, “As we move to adjust the Budget and implement the N500b stimulus package, the President has set up a committee chaired by the Vice President which will be meeting today at 2:00 pm.
“The feedback we get from that meeting would be conveyed to the relevant bodies as we design the various programs which will include the upgrade of healthcare facilities, support to States, Public Works and other interventions that we are working on at this time,”.