BY EMEKA EJERE
A joint implementation committee on the proposed two-month free electricity supply to the poor and vulnerable, as part of the stimulus package for the Covid-19 pandemic is to be set up.
This was the outcome of the meeting between the federal legislators led by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and the stakeholders which was held at the National Assembly on Thursday, April 16, 2020.
Speaking on the development, the speaker said:
“The objective is very simple. We are asking people to stay at home for several days or weeks, so we need to make their stay at home comfortable. We need to help the poorest of the poorest at this time in Nigeria’’
‘’Whatever the issues are within the power supply chain, they have to be dealt with and set aside, but how we deal with the issue at stake is why we are here today.”
During the meeting which was attended by the Minister for Power, Mamman Sale, Executive Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), James Momoh, Group Managing Director NNPC, Mele Kyari, MD/CEO Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, Marilyn Amobi, as well as the representatives of the distribution companies, the Speaker made it clear that Nigerians should be the ultimate beneficiary of this effort.
In his remark, the Minister for Power said the newly set up committee will offer support and technical advice towards actualising this objective.
On his part, the group managing director of NNPC noted that the issue of gas supply to the Generating Companies (GenCos) is critical to power supply in the country. He also stated that the resolution of the question of who carries the burden of cost and margins in the supply value chain will make this proposal workable.
It should be recalled that the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), had recently expressed its willingness to align with the proposal of the National Assembly to give free electricity supply to Nigerians for two months as part of the palliative to reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, in a statement on Thursday, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) described the free electricity promise as a political propaganda.