COVID-19: Reps seek two-month free power supply to Nigerians

The House of Representatives is to consider a fresh Stimulus Bill that will ensure that Nigerians get free electricity supply for two months to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Speaker Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has said.

The Speaker said the proposed Bill is to help in boosting the economy through the informal sector as the country prepares for the aftermath of the coronavirus.

The proposed Bill, which will be the second Stimulus Bill by the Green Chamber, is to be considered immediately the House reconvenes from its ongoing break, declared due to the pandemic.

It has, however, been agreed by the leadership of the National Assembly that the resumption date, initially slated for April 7, will be extended by one week in compliance with government’s 2-week stay-at-home policy.

Gbajabiamila spoke at the National Assembly on Saturday during a meeting between the National Assembly leadership and the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmad, the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, among others.

The Senate President, in his opening remarks, noted that the meeting, the second in about 10 days, was a testimony of the commitment of both arms of government at addressing the issues holistically.

He assured that the Nigerian parliament would perform its constitutional roles towards ensuring that Nigerians benefit from all efforts aimed at mitigating the effects of the disease.

Explaining the necessity for the proposed stimulus bill for the electricity sector, the Speaker said electricity, being a commodity consumed by every household, has a greater effect on the people and that since more Nigerians are in the informal sector, the effects would be more felt by the economy.

The House of Representatives is to consider a fresh Stimulus Bill that will ensure that Nigerians get free electricity supply for two months to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Speaker Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has said.

The Speaker said the proposed Bill is to help in boosting the economy through the informal sector as the country prepares for the aftermath of the coronavirus.

The proposed Bill, which will be the second Stimulus Bill by the Green Chamber, is to be considered immediately the House reconvenes from its ongoing break, declared due to the pandemic.

It has, however, been agreed by the leadership of the National Assembly that the resumption date, initially slated for April 7, will be extended by one week in compliance with government’s 2-week stay-at-home policy.

Gbajabiamila spoke at the National Assembly on Saturday during a meeting between the National Assembly leadership and the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmad, the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, among others.

The Senate President, in his opening remarks, noted that the meeting, the second in about 10 days, was a testimony of the commitment of both arms of government at addressing the issues holistically.

He assured that the Nigerian parliament would perform its constitutional roles towards ensuring that Nigerians benefit from all efforts aimed at mitigating the effects of the disease.

While noting that Nigerians must be assisted to weather the storm of the virus, Lawan added that critical decisions needed to be taken but must be legal, which makes it important that the legislature is part of the entire process.

On his part, Gbajabiamila said the country could not afford to be unprepared for the effect of Covid-19 on its economy.

Explaining the necessity for the proposed stimulus bill for the electricity sector, the Speaker said electricity, being a commodity consumed by every household, has a greater effect on the people and that since more Nigerians are in the informal sector, the effects would be more felt by the economy.

“The issue of electricity, you’ll agree, because the Minister did say that she has been inundated by the public, just as we are, on several suggestions and ideas and I am almost a hundred percent sure that, from those ideas will be the issue of some kind of shelter, as far as electricity is concerned.

“It is one thing that will touch every household. As I said earlier, when we engaged, I discussed with the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) that packaged whatever they would require, if the government can give them, for us to allow for two months free electricity for Nigerians, they would be able to guarantee it.

The Speaker said the proposed Bill is to help in boosting the economy through the informal sector as the country prepares for the aftermath of the coronavirus.

The proposed Bill, which will be the second Stimulus Bill by the Green Chamber, is to be considered immediately the House reconvenes from its ongoing break, declared due to the pandemic.

It has, however, been agreed by the leadership of the National Assembly that the resumption date, initially slated for April 7, will be extended by one week in compliance with government’s 2-week stay-at-home policy.

Gbajabiamila spoke at the National Assembly on Saturday during a meeting between the National Assembly leadership and the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmad, the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, among others.

The Senate President, in his opening remarks, noted that the meeting, the second in about 10 days, was a testimony of the commitment of both arms of government at addressing the issues holistically.

He assured that the Nigerian parliament would perform its constitutional roles towards ensuring that Nigerians benefit from all efforts aimed at mitigating the effects of the disease.

While noting that Nigerians must be assisted to weather the storm of the virus, Lawan added that critical decisions needed to be taken but must be legal, which makes it important that the legislature is part of the entire process.

On his part, Gbajabiamila said the country could not afford to be unprepared for the effect of Covid-19 on its economy.

Explaining the necessity for the proposed stimulus bill for the electricity sector, the Speaker said electricity, being a commodity consumed by every household, has a greater effect on the people and that since more Nigerians are in the informal sector, the effects would be more felt by the economy.

“It is one thing that will touch every household. As I said earlier, when we engaged, I discussed with the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) that packaged whatever they would require, if the government can give them, for us to allow for two months free electricity for Nigerians, they would be able to guarantee it.

“We have the figures. I think we should look very seriously into that as part of our package for economic stimulus, because stimulus means something that will stimulate the economy. When you are stimulating the economy, most of it will come from the informal sector.

“When you are saving people their electricity and the fact that they now have stable electricity for two months, you are also saving the monies that would go into the payment of those bills at least for two months.”

On the need by the Executive arm to source for funds in the fight against coronavirus and its socio-economic effects, the Speaker restated the determination of the National Assembly to partner the Executive in efforts aimed at mitigating the effects of the disease on Nigerians and the economy.

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