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ECONOMIC HARDSHIP: Senate warns Nigerian govt against electricity tariff hike



In the face of the economic hardship experienced by many Nigerians, the Nigerian Senate has warned the Federal Government to desist from hiking electricity tariff under any guise.

The upper chamber noted that increasing electricity tariff at this point would worsen the plight of Nigerians who were already on their knees.

The upper legislative chamber issued the warning on Wednesday at a plenary presided by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio.

Senators who earlier contributed to the motion, expressed concerns about the planned increase in electricity tariff, wondering if the Federal Government was sensitive to the plight of Nigerians over hunger and economic cash crunch at the moment.

The motion which was sponsored by Senator Aminu Iya Abba alongside 10 other lawmakers notified the upper legislative chamber of the planned electricity tariff hike and warned that “doing at this time would have backlash”.

The sponsor of the motion also called on the electricity companies to stop arbitrary billing of unmetered customers.

READ ALSO: Senate probes Buhari’s Ways and Means Loan, cites food, security concerns

Supporting the motion, former Speaker of the House of Representatives and former governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, cautioned the Federal Government, saying it should first tackle hunger and hardship faced by citizens before contemplating electricity tariff hike.

After a debate, the Senate resolved that the Federal Government should stop the planned electricity tariff hike in the interest of Nigerians.

Meanwhile, the Senate adopted a resolution asking its Committee on Power to investigate the over N2 trillion subsidy requirements, as claimed by the Minister of Power, and another N1.3 trillion owed electricity Generation Companies (GENCOs) as well as a $1.3 billion debt to gas companies.

They further resolved that “the Minister of Power should be investigated over the N2 trillion he said was needed for electricity tariff to avoid the repeat of fuel subsidy scandal”.

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