On Tuesday, the Senate asked the Federal Government to subsidize electricity for Nigerians in a bid to ease the proposed increase in the electricity rate that had been deferred until next year.
Chairman of the Senate Power Committee, Senator Gabriel Suswam made the call while briefing journalists in Abuja.
NAN reports that the leadership of the National Assembly on Monday entered into controversy over the planned increase in the electricity rate from July 1.
The representatives of the Distribution Companies (DISCO) maintained the same foundation that they would support the suspension of the planned hike only if the government supported the differences in the current rate and what is considered the appropriate rate.
Addressing journalists, Suswam said: “No, nowhere in the world that power is not subsidized, especially in developing economies, because there are genuine people who, due to their income, cannot pay what is called the tariff that reflects costs.
Nigerians are very loaded due to COVID-19. The economy has contracted 3.2 percent; that’s a lot.
“Therefore, it is difficult for you and me to address some of our social problems. Would the government prefer to add a load or decrease it?
“The President has been well; it has spent so much money, and what we hope is that spending will gradually decrease or decrease as the electricity sector becomes more efficient, “he said.
In the way forward, the president said it was to make the electricity sector more efficient and for the government to back down just as they had in the oil sector where subsidies had been completely eliminated.
Still, the government is reducing the price of the pump. So should they, along the same lines, increase the tariff? It doesn’t make sense, “Suswam said.
He expressed the hope that the executive will agree to subsidize the electricity even though it will have a cost.