The two-month free power supply promised by the Nigerian government, as part of measures to reduce the effects of COVID-19 lockdown, is not for all, according to authorities.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives and stakeholders in the power sector agreed to set up a joint implementation committee to arrive at those poor and vulnerable Nigerians who will enjoy the package.
The proposed free electricity was part of the stimulus packages to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, who was quoted in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, said the joint panel’s mandate is to work out modalities for the proposed two-month bill waiver for the most vulnerable people in the country.
He added that the committee will identify Nigerians that will benefit from the free power supply using the number of households connected to the national grid.
Gbajabiamila said the essence of the meeting was to proffer means of alleviating the socio-economic effects of COVID-19 on Nigerians during and after the crisis through the supply of power.
He disclosed that his previous engagements with some critical power sector stakeholders were very encouraging. The Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) on 8th April, said it had aligned with the federal government to provide a two-month rebate of free electricity to their customers nationwide.
In a statement, the Executive Director, Research and Advocacy at the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), Barrister Sunday Oduntan, said the decision was in recognition of the challenging effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the economic and daily lives of the customers.
Oduntan, who is also the spokesman for the DisCos, said: “We are also completely aligned with the plans to ensure palliative measures, including free electricity supply to all Nigerians for two months, to make life easier, during the lockdown period. Details of implementation to come soon.”