The Federal Government has been urged by the Senate to subsidize electricity tariffs for Nigerians.
This comes after the National Assembly was told by the electricity distribution companies that the only way to prevent an increase in electricity tariff was for the Federal Government to subsidize.
Reacting to this, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Senator Gabriel Suswam, and his counterpart in the Media and Public Affairs, Dr. Ajibola Basiru noted that increasing the tariff at the moment would be counterproductive.
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In his submission, he said;
“Nowhere in the world, that power is not subsidized especially in a developing economy because there are genuine people, who, because of their income, are unable to pay what is called a cost-reflective tariff.
Nigerians are heavily burdened because of COVID-19. The economy has contracted by 3.2%, 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.
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?”