The Association of Nigeria Electricity Distributors has confirmed its support of the palliative measure for Nigerians to enjoy free electricity for two months.
This is as the House of Representatives is considering a new stimulus package that will allow Nigerians to have electricity for two months without pay.
However, this Stimulus Bill by the House has yet to be passed.
According to available data from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, should the government agree to bear the cost, it would have to part with N120bn, that is N60bn monthly.
This is according to the estimate of the third quarter of 2019 with a total invoice of N179.66bn issued to the 11 Distribution Companies being cost of energy received from the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company.
The Executive Secretary of ANED, Sunday Oduntan, said while the DisCos were in support of the palliative measure, it was all government’s initiative.
He said, “It is not free from the DisCos, as there is a value chain. What we issued is a statement of support for the Federal Government.”
Oduntan had stated earlier that the association “recognises the challenging effect of COVID-19” on electricity consumers and commended the House of Representatives for the bill.
His words, “We are completely aligned with the plans to ensure palliative measures, including free electricity supply for all Nigerians for two months, to make life easier, during the lockdown.
“We recognise the challenging effects of the coronavirus disease on the economic and daily lives of our customers.
“In fulfilment of our commitment to the nation, we hereby align ourselves with the efforts of the National Assembly and the Federal Executive Council to mitigate the hardships that are currently faced by our customers and other citizens all over the country.”
Going by the current critical fiscal position of the country triggered the sharp drop in international oil prices due to the coronavirus pandemic, it remains to be seen if this bill will see the light of day.