The Senate has said it is performing necessary oversight functions to stop further hikes in petroleum pump price and electricity tariff.

The Upper Chamber said it would also not allow the falling naira value against major world currencies to have worse adverse effects on the citizens.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Yemi Adaramodu, gave the assurance while addressing reporters in Abuja.

Asked what the Senate was doing to allay the current fears over possible hikes in electricity tariff and the pump price of petroleum products as a result of high landing cost of the products and indebtedness of the Federal Government to the electricity generating firms (GenCos), he said: “The Senate would do everything possible to ensure that Nigerians do not pay through their nose to enjoy electricity and petrol.”

Last week, Power Minister Adebayo Adelabu said Nigeria was not likely to sustain the current electricity subsidy.

The minister explained that the indebtedness of the country’s power sector to electricity-generating companies (GenCos) and gas companies (GasCos) had risen to over N3 trillion.

Reports had also shown 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 last October.

Adaramodu said: “The issue of petroleum matter and that of power, especially the two; one: if you can just recall, the Senate, especially, has instituted a committee probe into the activities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) and even the oil sector generally. 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, 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 in our own side, we have a committee solely responsible for power matters.

“Appropriately, those committees will swing into action and they will brief the Senate accordingly. From their briefings, we would take a position.”

The Senate spokesman insisted that the Red Chamber would intervene appropriately on the planned strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

He said: “On the issue of NLC strike, we learnt that the Federal Government has been meeting with them. Yes, there’s an analogy, which I want to draw.

“When a child is crying for food and the father is going up and down to ensure that food is provided for the child, if the child cries too much, by the time the food comes, the child will be too weak to eat the food. So, it’s an analogy, and I’m very sure that is what is taking place now.

“On the NLC meeting with the Federal Government: they will reach an agreement and whatever agreement they reach, we expect that it will be expeditiously adhered to.”

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