Senator Kola Balogun, representing Oyo South Senatorial District, last Thursday broke silence on the electricity tariff hike.
Balogun, who is also a member of the Senate Committee on Power kicked against the increase in electricity tariff implemented by power distribution companies across the country, just as he absolved the Senate of being part of the decision.
The lawmaker maintained that any policy that will further inflict more hardship on the masses will always be rejected.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had on August 27 informed that electricity tariff reviews, going forward will only follow service-based principles.
According to NERC, DiSCos will only be able to review tariff rates for customers when they consult with them and commit to increasing the number of hours of supply per day and quality of service.
Senator Balogun, during a media parley with the Southwest Group of Online Publishers (SWEGOP) in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital further disclosed how the Committee rejected the plan to increase electricity tarrif at a meeting organised by the National Electricity Regularly Commission (NERC), in Lagos.
“Sometimes last year, NERC invited us to a meeting in Lagos where they came up with this proposal to increase electricity tariff and quite a number of us on that day rejected it out rightly, we said we will not support it.
“Because, how can you charge people for what they are not getting? That’s our position. Go and improve on your performances.
“Look at the telecoms. When NITEL was unbundled and we now have GSM, people are willing to pay, they are still paying because they are getting the services .
“So, how can I go back to my district and tell them that I agreed with the tariff to pay more for what they are not getting, it doesn’t make sense. I know we spoke against it and we left it at that. So we didn’t support it”, he explained.
Balogun, however continued, “But, it is safe for us to pass a law or amend an act to stop any situation, that is what is binding. As we speak I still don’t support it because timing is wrong, even if they have enough reasons to increase, how can you do that at this material time of COVID?”, he questioned.
The PDP chieftain noted that the problem in power sector started with the way and manner the system was unbundled. He alleged that the players lacked the wherewithal; both technical and financial muscle to perform optimally.
“Already we have 8,000MW, deliverable is still about 3,000-4,000MW; because they are not investing in transmission infrastructure.
“So, they don’t give them more than they can take, because if the load goes back, it will damage the system. And of course, distribution also has its own problem.
“If we have 5,000 MW deliverables, Nigerians will witness mass improvement in our electricity supply and then you can imagine if we have about 7, 000 MW deliverables.
“They said they don’t have the off takers which is not true. They also complained about inability to collect revenues from the general public and that the federal government is also owing them a lot of money. But, we say go and get prepaid meters. So what the federal government is trying to do now is likely to procure prepaid meters for them. If you have prepaid meters you make more money because nobody will take your electricity without paying”, he submitted.
Balogun also commended the federal government for bringing Siemens to invest in transmission infrastructure.
According to him, “What the federal government is doing now, I am in support of it. The federal government is bringing Siemens to invest in transmission infrastructure. In fact it took a little argument before the owners of the transmission business allowed that to happen because there is always an agreement.
“In fact, we have to really be diplomatic, almost being persuasive for them to allow Siemens to come in and they have done a lot of feasibility study and they are bringing in almost everything that we would need to invest in transmission infrastructure; although with a loan from France”, he added.
Oyo: Makinde Mother’s Burial Holds December
Body of Chief (Mrs.) Abigail Makinde, the mother of Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde will be interred in the first week of December.
Governor Makinde disclosed this yesterday while playing host to a delegation from the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi Ogunlade Odundun II, which was in Ibadan, the state capital to commiserate with him on the death of his mother.
The governor said he was very delighted with the visit, urging Akure people, the kingdom where his mother was born, to actively participate in her funeral.
Makinde, who described them as one of the most upright, bold and honest people in Yoruba land and the nation at large, also added that his late mother was a role model whose dedication to work, uprightness, boldness and honesty were the traits of Akure people.
A statement by Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, quoted the governor as saying “when you see an average Akure man or woman, you see courage and see people who are true to their words.”
While delivering the condolence message from the Deji of Akure, the leader of the delegation, who is the Asae of Akure Kingdom, Senior High Chief Sola Adegbonmire, described the governor’s mother as a worthy daughter of Akure Kingdom.
He stressed that the Omoregie family, where Madam Abigail Omojolagbe Makinde hailed from, is a family of exceptional and wonderful people in Akureland.
Oba Aladetoyinbo further described the death of Madam Makinde as a painful loss not only to the Makinde family but also to the entire Akure Kingdom.
He then prayed that God would grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
‘My mother was an epitome of love, humility’ – Gov. Makinde mourns
The Oyo state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, has described his late mother, Chief (Mrs.) Abigail Omojolagbe Makinde, as an epitome of love and humility, despite being a disciplinarian.
The governor stated this on Friday while receiving the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by the National Chairman, Prince Uche Sencondus, on a condolence visit to his house at Ikolaba GRA, Ibadan.
According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the governor expressed gratitude to the PDP NWC, noting that the fact that the leadership of the party made it to Ibadan barely 24 hours after Mama’s demise showed the love they have for him.
The statement also noted that apart from the PDP NWC entourage, the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo, and Delta States, Alhaji Daud Akinola, Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh AbdulGaniyy Abubakri Agbotomokekere, the Grand Mufti of Ibadanland, Sheikh Abdul Fatai Alaga, and other Muslim leaders also paid condolence visits to the governor.
Similarly, the Oyo State Judiciary led by the Chief Justice of the state, Justice Muntar Abimbola, and the General Officer Commanding, 2 Div, Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Major General Anthony Omozoje, were also at the Makinde residence to condole with the governor.
Speaking while receiving the PDP entourage, which included the National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu (retd); Deputy National Secretary; National Financial Secretary, Alhaji Abdullahi MaiBasira; National Woman Leader, Hajia Mariya Waziri; National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, as well a leader of the PDP from Osun State, Hon. Soji Adagunodo, Governor Makinde said the family remains grateful to God for the life Mama lived.
He said: “I want to thank you most sincerely for this condolence visit. I want to say, on behalf of myself, my wife, immediate family, and extended family, we are very grateful and appreciative of this visit. This happened yesterday morning and you are here this morning. It shows that you truly love me. So, I want to say thank you.
“Actually, we were preparing for my mummy’s 81st birthday, which would have been on the November 7, exactly three weeks from yesterday. But who are we to question God?
“We are grateful to God for the life she lived. To us, she was an epitome of love, humility. She was tough. If you see that trait in some of us, it came from her. And we also thank God that it was not like we were carrying her from one hospital to the other. She died peacefully in her sleep. So, we thank God for what He has done.”
Governor Makinde, who also took the opportunity to appreciate the PDP NWC for the confidence it had in him to lead the Ondo State governorship campaign, said what the outcome of the election meant was that the party would have to go back to the drawing board, adding that the campaign council will submit a report as soon as practicable.
“I will also like to use this opportunity to thank the National Working Committee of our great party for the opportunity you gave to us to lead the campaign in Ondo State. We can’t question God for the outcome of that election. What it means is that we have to go back to the drawing board. We will be submitting a report of those areas where we fell short, to the NWC as soon as practicable.
“I really want to use this opportunity to thank all of you who were there in Akure for the love of our party and for the support that you gave to our candidate in Ondo State.
“Once again, my Chairman, I am appreciative of this visit and I thank you and all the members of the NWC of our party.”
Earlier, the PDP national chairman said that the visit was to condole with the governor and the family for the loss of their mother.
He said: “A time like this is the time you know those who care and those who are with you. Unfortunately, we have two situations on our hands. We lost the chairman of the party in Zamfara. Obviously, we divided ourselves; the Deputy National Chairman of the party left for Zamfara yesterday morning for the burial of our late chairman of the party. And I and the rest of us in the National Working Committee leadership decided yesterday to come to Ibadan today.
“We are here by the grace of God to console you and the rest of the members of your family. We have no other way to do it than to join you in prayers.
“It is a very painful experience that you have to go through, sometimes alone. I know what it is because I have experienced it. It is only God that can fill the vacuum in your heart because the care of a mother is quite different from that of a father.
“So, on behalf of the leadership of our party, we are here to console you on this condolence visit. The Lord will strengthen you. And because you are one of our best and doing good works for the people of Oyo State and at this time that you are giving out your best, suddenly, God who gives has taken your beloved mother.
“We are here to share the pain and sorrow with you and to let you know we will continue in prayers during this period, even as we prepare for the funeral. After the funeral, we will continue to pray for you, your immediate and larger family. It is important for us to do so, having worked with you and having seen you as a man who is compassionate and cares for others.
“Today, we are here with you and we pray that God will energise you at this period and stretch His right hand of righteousness to touch every one of the members of the family to bear this great loss.
“Therefore, as members of the National Working Committee, we pray that God will keep you now and thereafter to make you continue to do the good work for the people of Oyo State
Nigeria: Group drums support for #ENDSARS
Benchmark Group of Nigeria on Friday declared its support for the ongoing peaceful #EndSARS protests, as Nigerians speak up against police brutality.
Akanbi Bukola, founder of the group in a chat with Mega Icon Magazine said it is imperative to identify with Nigerians as protests continue around the country to end police brutality and the abuse of power by the institution established to protect its citizenry.
She noted that aside corruption and oppression from the hands of some elements of the Nigeria Police Force, “this time around, Nigerians, irrespective of faith, ethnic or political biases, must come together to eradicate police brutality once and for all in the society”.
According to her, for many Nigerians, the police has failed to fulfill its mandate of providing public security as enshrined in the constitution, adding that officers are now viewed more as predators than protectors.
Akanbi lamented further that Nigerians struggling to make ends meet are accosted on a daily basis by these officers who demand bribes and commit abuses against them as a means of extorting money.
“Those who fail to pay are usually threatened with arrest and physical harm, by those expected to protect them”, she said.
Akanbi, however called for the overall reform of the country’s police force.
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