NLC Demands Immediate Reversal of Electricity Tariff Hike

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Abuja – July 5, 2024 – The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the federal government to compel electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) to reverse the recent tariff hike to alleviate economic strain and safeguard lives. The Discos had announced an increase in tariffs for Band ‘A’ customers from N206.80 to N209.5, effective July 1.

The NLC condemned this decision, labeling it as impudent and arrogant. They warned that the hike would force more businesses to close and exacerbate difficulties for consumers.

In a statement signed by NLC President Joe Ajaero, the organization criticized the government for approving a new hike instead of reversing an earlier increase, questioning the government’s sincerity and sensitivity.

“This increment has come in the heels of unresolved contestations around the insane 250 percent hike in tariff, leading to national paralysis including the shutting down of 300 businesses as per the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN),” the statement read. “The 250 percent hike drew the ire of the citizenry and the rage of organized labor, whose members went on a one-day protest for its unreasonableness and violation of extant rules of tariff hike.”

The NLC had previously staged a nationwide strike to protest the initial tariff hike and the delay in approving a new minimum wage. This strike was suspended following assurances from various quarters, including the National Assembly, that the issue would be addressed promptly.

“That there is another hike instead of a reversal (as promised) is further proof of the insincerity of the government just as it is equally a measure of government’s insensitivity,” Ajaero stated. “We have no doubt that this frequent crass display of insincerity and insensitivity will pit the people against the government or vice versa.”

Ajaero dismissed the three justifications provided by the Discos for the increase – exchange rate, interest rate, and cost of gas – arguing that it highlighted the lack of seriousness in addressing the country’s energy crisis. “For, clearly, they are treating the symptoms. 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,” he concluded.

The NLC’s call for action underscores the growing tension between the government and its citizens over economic policies and the management of essential services. The response from the federal government and the Discos will be crucial in determining the future of this contentious issue.

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