Nigeria: If We Asked People to Stay At Home, We Must Make Them Comfortable - Gbajabiamila

2 April 2020

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, last night regretted the current poor power supply in the country, declaring that making life more miserable for Nigerians who were on lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic was unacceptable.

His reaction followed a protest by a Nollywood actress, Ada Ameh, about lack of power supply in most Nigerian homes.

Amen had in a video that had gone viral on social media, called for government's intervention to the situation.

Following the call, Gbajabiamila swiftly summoned a meeting with the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman and the management of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC.

The House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu; and Deputy Minority Whip, Adesegun Adekoya were also at the meeting.

While NERC was represented by its Commissioner on Compliance, Safe Akpeneye, the Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed; Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Godwin Emefiele; and the Group Managing Director, GMD, of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari joined the meeting via virtual connection.

Speaking, Gbajabiamila expressed dismay over the barrage of calls and messages from many Nigerians through his social media account, reacting to the protest video and called for prompt action.

He said: "It has become imperative that I urgently call for this meeting to find a solution to the poor supply of electricity during this lockdown period.

"If we ask people to stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, at least we have to make their homes comfortable for them to stay.

"The complaints have just been too much in the last 24 hours. There are people also in the hospital now without electricity; we need to brainstorm over an urgent solution."

Also speaking, the Minister of Power, Mamman tabled the challenges faced by power generating companies, GENCOs, appealing for possible intervention of the leadership of the House.

"We are aware of the challenges faced by Nigerians, so we have started talking to GENCOs, because they have been complaining that Discos are not paying and only about 20% of their dues are remitted.

"So, the GENCOs are facing technical and revenue shortfall. Consequently, they can't as well meet their financial obligations to gas companies."

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