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Nigerian Lawmakers Will Prevent Power, Petrol Price Hike, Senate Spokesperson Says

Power minister Adelabu last week said Nigeria is not likely to sustain the current electricity subsidy.

The Senate has assured Nigerians that it was doing necessary oversight activities to ensure that there is no hike in petroleum pump price and electricity tariff despite the falling value of the naira against major world currencies.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Yemi Adaramodu, gave the assurance in an interview with journalists in Abuja.

He was reacting to what the Senate was doing to arrest the current fears over possible hike in electricity tariff and pump price as a result of the high landing cost of petroleum and indebtedness of the federal government to the electricity generating firms.

The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, last week said that Nigeria was not likely to sustain the current electricity subsidy.

He explained that the indebtedness of the country’s power sector to electricity Generating Companies (GenCos) and gas companies had risen to over N3 trillion.

It had also been reported in the Media that due to the prevailing black-market rate of about N1,600 per dollar, the landing cost of petrol had soared to about N1,009 per litre, marking a substantial increase from N720 per litre recorded in October 2023.

However, the Senate said it was doing everything possible to ensure that Nigerians would not pay through their nose to enjoy electricity and petrol.

 “The issue of petroleum matter and that of power, especially the two, one, if you can just recall, the Senate, especially has instituted committee probes into the activities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) and even the oil sector generally and then we are awaiting the reports.

“The reports will determine our own approach to what we are going to advise or what we are going to compel the executive to do about this issue.

“On the issue of power too, a minister can come out and say whatever he would like to say, which is as it applies to his ministry but the minister is not the last voice on such issues.

“The presidency is there and even our own side, we have a committee solely responsible for power matters.  Appropriately, those committees will swing into action and then, they will brief the Senate accordingly and from their briefing, we would take a position.

“When these committees swing into action, it’s not going to be the committee members alone that will be thinking and be talking. They are going to meet with very critical stakeholders and users of electricity, which are Nigerians, and users of petroleum products, which are Nigerians too and then from there, we take it up.

“What I want to assure Nigerians is that the 10th  Senate will not abandon them because it means that we have abandoned ourselves. We are not here on our own.

“There’s nothing that happens to one Nigerian that does not happen to us and because of that, we feel it even more than any other person because we are the very close people to our people,” he added.
Adaramodu also explained that the Senate would intervene appropriately on the planned strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

He said: “On the issue of the NLC strike, we learnt that the federal government has been meeting with them. They will reach an agreement and then whatever agreement they reach, we expect that it will be expeditiously adhered to.

“Whatever is promised or pledged is or are given to the Nigerian workers, not only to the Nigerian workers, to the Nigerian populace as a whole so that we can have a very good lease of life and that life can go on peacefully economically manageably for our citizenry,” he added.

Sunday Aborisade

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