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New electricity tariff wicked, unreasonable, says Ekweremadu

By The Citizen
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The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has called for the immediate reversal of the new electricity tariff.

He made the call on Tuesday while contributing to the debate on a motion moved by Senator Suleiman Nazif (All Progressives Congress, Bauchi North) decrying the new tariff regime.

Ekweremadu insisted that the Nigerian masses had suffered enough, noting that allowing the increase to stay would worsen the burdens of the people.

He said: 'I join the rest of my colleagues in condemning this increase in tariff and I speak as one representing a Senatorial District. And I also believe that I am speaking the minds of the rest of my colleagues, when I say that all those we are representing are worried about this increase in tariff.

'Unfortunately, our brothers and sisters who had the privilege and the opportunity of taking over these Distribution Companies (DISCOS) have failed to inject any money into them and now we are being forced to pay the price.

'As a country, our people are now on life-support. There are lots of problem already and for any person to further draw more blood from their lives, it means the person wants them dead'.

'For me, this tariff increase is ultra-wicked, unconscionable and the height of insensitivity,' he added.

Insisting that the Senate must as a matter necessity, take a stand on the matter, the Deputy President of the Senate, further said: 'We must be able to come up today as a Senate not only to condemn it but be able to make this agency to withdraw it immediately. That is what Nigerians expect of us. The issue of looking at the laws setting up NERC is what the committees are set up to do and they can do that anytime, but what is important for us today is for us to ensure that this increase is reversed in the best interest of our people.

'There is so much problem in the system; there is insecurity, there is poverty, there is unemployment.t. Any other additional pressure on the people will mean we don’t want them to be alive. I want to plead with this Senate that we must rise today not only to condemn this, but to reverse it immediately and call on the agencies responsible to ensure that they go back to the old tariff until proper consultations are made and to put measures in place to be able to cushion the effects of an increase.'

While expressing support for increased power supply in the country, Ekweremadu was however quick to add that it must not be at the expense of the lives of the masses.

He said: 'Yes, I support everything that will make sure that we have electricity in our homes and in our industries, but not at the expense of the lives of the ordinary people of Nigeria.

'We must be able to take them into consideration to be sure that their welfare is protected; their security and lives are considered in whatever decisions we take.

'That is why we are here and that is why they elected us and I believe that this Senate will rise from this sitting today proud of our heritage, proud of what we do and proud of ourselves if all of us agree to the prayers of this motion.

'More importantly, we need to have this tariff suspended so that Nigerians will be able to believe that we are here for their own interest.' - Daily Post.