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Deputy speaker, Kalu, promises Reps intervention in electricity tariff hike



The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Benjamin Kalu has said that the House will intervene in the recent increase in electricity tariff by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) upon its resumption on April 23, 2024.

It will be recalled that the recent hike in tarrifs culminated in consumers in Band A paying as much as a 300 per cent increment, leading to wide condemnation by opposition parties, prominent citizens, and civil society organisations.

Speaking virtually on the special edition of “Ben Kalu’s Mandate”, a call-in radio programme of FLO FM, Umuahia, Abia State on Monday, the lawmaker noted that the parliament would find a way to resolve the issue.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Speaker, Mr Levinus Nwabughiogu, quoted Kalu as saying that the parliament would continue to conduct its affairs with the greatest interest of Nigerians in mind.

He said: “It’s a general problem. While I was on my holidays, one of the things I was bothered with was a letter sent to me by the majority leader of the House on the need for us to intervene in a matter involving the University of Ibadan Teaching Hospital power supply. They were disconnected because of this hike, and they don’t have the money to pay. We said it’s an essential service. Something should be done about it while we look at other details.

“I can assure you that when we resume, it’s one of the things we are going to look into. We will look at both sides of the coin to know a win-win approach to it because we cannot suffocate and also scare the investors. We cannot allow Nigerians to suffer unduly. So, it is one of the things we will look at by the time we resume, and we will find a way to solve it.”

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Speaking on the possibility of a new constitution for Nigerians, Kalu said the onus is on the people to participate fully in the process, while the National Assembly will help amplify their voices.

“Some schools of thought expressed the view that they want a new constitution. They want us to drop the old one and take up a new one. Some elders known as The Patriots are also asking for a new constitution. But as you know, we are the people’s parliament.

“You are our bosses. Whatever the people decide for us to do when we have our public hearings and all these engagements, when we move around because we are going to go to every zone, most local government areas or senatorial or geopolitical zones to engage, is what we will look at.

“If the people have a general consensus that this is what Nigerians want and the template of what they are asking for; what is wrong with this one that you want to change? What would the new one look like, and what do you have in mind? We will be able to factor that in.

“I am happy that you are conscious of the move for the amendment of the constitution. I like it when people call to discuss that. It shows there is an awareness which is very key. It’s only when you are aware that you can engage and make the right impact. So, I appreciate you. This is the time to lend your voice to this,” Kalu said.

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