NLC demands new tariff hike reversal

The Nigeria Labour Congress has frowned at the recent hike in tariff payable by Band A customers from N206.80 per kilowatt-hour to N209.5/KWh.

While demanding an immediate of the new tariff, the NLC also accused the Federal Government of insensitivity and insincerity.

In a statement on Thursday, the President of NLC, Joe Ajaero, disclosed that the hike in electricity tariff represented the height of impunity and arrogance, saying the development would put more companies out of business as well as create more difficulties for consumers.

DisCos had on Wednesday announced a new round of tariff hikes.

 According to them, the new tariff approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission was due to their high operational costs occasioned by rising inflation, and exchange rate fluctuations.

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Ajaero recalled that during the recent national strike, the Federal Government promised to address the hike in Band A tariff from 68/kWh, wondering why the next step taken was another tariff hike instead of a downward review.

 Ajaero said, “This increment has come on the heels of unresolved contestations around the insane 250 per cent hike in tariff leading to national paralysis including the shutting down of 300 businesses as per the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

 “The 250 per cent hike drew the ire of the citizenry and rage of organised labour whose members went on a one-day protest for its unreasonableness and violation of extant rules of tariff hike.”

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 “We had demanded a reversal.  The only reason that action was paused was a firm assurance from relevant quarters including the National Assembly that the matter would be dealt with quietly,” he mentioned.

 Meanwhile, the NLC president decried another hike instead of a reversal, arguing that this is further proof of the insincerity of the government just as it is equally a measure of the government’s insensitivity.

 “We do not doubt that this frequent crass display of insincerity and insensitivity will pit the people against the government or vice versa,” he stated.

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 Ajaero explained that the three excuses given by DisCo (exchange rate, interest rate and cost of gas) as justification for this increase “underscore our argument that the government and entities in the energy sector are not serious about finding an enduring solution to our energy crisis”.

 He emphasised, Given the further damage this latest wave of increase will do to our economy, we demand an immediate reversal of the hike. It is unjustifiable, unreasonable and malevolent. Government and DisCos should stop killing the people and the economy.”

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