As the House of Representatives considers passing a stimulus bill to ensure free electricity supply for two months, Nigerians have expressed feelings for the proposal.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila has said that the aim of the bill was to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians and local businesses.
Mr Gbajabiamila, in a statement issued in Abuja, said the proposed bill would help in boosting the economy through the informal sector as the country prepared for the aftermath of the pandemic.
However, while some Nigerians gladly received the news, others expressed concerns and mixed feelings.
Risikat Alabi, a shop owner, said it was a welcome idea as it would afford electricity consumers the opportunity to enjoy electricity, free of charge.
Ernest Udom, an electrician, said that anything was possible if the Federal Government could put necessary mechanisms in place.
“However, this is Nigeria, before you know it, the Distribution Companies (DisCos) and the Generation Companies (Gencos), will begin to give you reasons why they cannot achieve such feat,” he said.
Another consumer, Hassana Mohammed said, “if the bill will be assented to, it is indeed a good initiative but, is there power to supply?
“Already the DisCos are finding it difficult to give us light when we pay not to talk of when they are mandated to give us free of charge. Let us watch and see,” she said.
For Chinedu Ossai, he asked how power would be distributed to those using prepaid meter without having to pay for it.
NAN took a few opinions from twitter as well.
Demola Adeniran with twitter handle @Demurleigh said it was logical to do it.
“This is logical. No attempt to alleviate the situation of Nigerians should be sneered upon.
“These are extraordinary times globally. We thank National Assembly for pushing this,” he said.
Nasir Bagudu with twitter handle @Dotunxp said it would be a welcome development.
“Anything to ease the bills and expenses at this time that majority of small businesses are closed, will greatly help,” he said.
KemKem with twitter handle @kemiagas said: “In this time, the most vulnerable are who we should focus on. It is mainly big towns and cities that have electricity.
“Besides, the government will lose money on taxes from the payment of electricity by the population that can afford it.
“We appreciate the gesture but it is not the most strategic.”
The National Assembly is expected to discuss the contents of the proposed bill immediately it reconvenes from its ongoing break arising from COVID-19 pandemic.