Labour vows to scuttle electricity tariff hike by DisCos

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Paris Club, Minimum Wage

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday vowed to fully mobilise Nigerians to resist any attempt to increase electricity tariffs.

The distribution companies had in a statement insisted on increment of electricity tariff, saying, “with effect from July 1, a new performance driven increased tariff structure is set for implementation as a step towards narrowing the liquidity gap.“

In another statement by their umbrella body, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), signed by its executive director of Research and Advocacy, Barr Sunday Oduntan, DisCos said recent effort by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to distance itself from the July 1 commencement of a new service-based electricity tariff regime was unfair.

But the NLC warned that any further hike in tariff or other charges at this “time of great socio-economic dislocation would be ultra-insensitive, callous and a pre-meditated attempt to send many Nigerians, workers, to untimely graves.“

NLC president, comrade Ayuba Wabba, noted that in as much as Nigerians are relieved by the halting of the tariff hike by the DISCOs following the intervention of the National Assembly, the NLC is aware that the DISCOs are not unrelenting.

In a statement he issued yesterday, Wabba however said in the interest of fairness, equity and justice, the NLC demands that the DISCOs refund bailout funds collected from public coffers as well as return to Nigerians all the estimated billings that had been unjustly collected from them all these years.

He stated: “We also demand that DISCOs must pay consumers the cost that their inefficiency has imposed on citizens, residents and businesses.

“DISCOs must also repay bailout funds they had unjustly collected from public coffers. We wish to remind the DISCOs that the provision of pre-paid meters, transformers and investment in the sector are statutorily the job of the DISCOs not consumers or government.

“DISCOs were fully aware of these conditions before subscribing to the power sector privatization programme. Enough of the lies, deceit and exploitation of the Nigerian people.

“Finally, on the strength of the open admission by DISCOs in Nigeria to their own grand incompetence and crass failure, we call on the Federal Government to immediately set in motion processes for the review of the power sector privatization. Enough is enough”.

Wabba further noted that the Congress was aware of plans by airport authorities, airlines, banks and others to hide under COVID-19 and hike user access and services charges.

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