NIGERIAN power distribution companies have agreed to provide free electricity across the nation for the next two months as part of their contribution towards the fight against the global coronavirus pandemic.
Across Nigeria, only 276 people have contracted the virus, of which six have unfortunately died but despite the relatively low numbers, the government has acted to prevent the spread. In Lagos and Ogun states and the Federal Capital Territory, there has been a 14-day lockdown, a team of Chinese scientists have been invited to share their knowhow, isolation centres have been opened and all mass gatherings have been banned.
Yesterday, the public got an additional bonus with the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (Aned) saying that it will not charge customers for the next two months. Aned executive director Sunday Oduntan, said that the modalities for working out the free transmission is currently being worked out by the distribution companies (Discos).
Mr said: “The electricity distribution companies recognise the challenging effects of the coronavirus on the economic and daily lives of our customers. In fulfilment of our commitments to the nation, we hereby align ourselves with the efforts of the National Assembly and the federal executive to mitigate the hardship that is currently being borne by our customers and other citizens all over the country.
“We are committed to working with them to ensure more efficient power supply within this difficult period, as the nation battles with the ravages of Covid-19. We are also completely aligned with the plans to ensure palliative measures, including free electricity supply to all Nigerians for two months, to make life easier, during the lockdown period.”
He reiterated the commitment of the Discos to improving service delivery to the nation during the period of the coronavirus pandemic and thereafter. Already, the management of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) on Wednesday said it had set aside N100m to support the fight against Covid-19 pandemic within its operational area.
It revealed this while donating food items worth N10m to the Oyo State government as part of measures to combat Covid-19 in the state. IBEDC also donated N5m to the University College Hospital Ibadan in support of the institution’s efforts at combating the deadly virus.
IBEDC chief operating officer John Ayodele, said: “IBEDC, as a law-abiding corporate citizen and socially responsible organisation, has earmarked about N100m for relief items namely rice, noodles and semovita. This gesture encompasses the states we cover namely Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Kwara and partly Niger, Kogi and Ekiti states.”
Also, the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution has donated four truckloads of rice to support the palliative measures in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers states. Its managing director Dr Henry Ajagbawa, also promised regular supply of electricity during the period of the lockdown to enable residents live a comfortable life.