The house of representatives has maintained that poor Nigerians should not be denied free electricity during the lockdown period because the rich who are the minority would profit from it.
According to a statement by the House spokesman, Benjamin Kalu, he added that threatening poor Nigerians with disconnection at this time is definitely not the way to go.
“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 behoves a responsible federal government to innovate ways to alleviate the suffering of people.”