NLC condemns planned electricity tariff hike

THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has kicked against the plan to increase electricity tariff by 40 per cent on July 1.

According to the NLC president, Joe Ajaero, the plan reflects the organised indifference to the welfare of poor citizens.

In a statement he issued on Thursday, June 22 in Abuja, Ajaero expressed disapproval of the proposed tariff hike, describing it as “insensitive and callous.”

The tariff is set to increase by 40 per cent despite a monthly subsidy of about N50 billion still in the electricity sector.

According to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the increase was in response to the rise of the pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS), the rise in inflation rate which is currently at 22.41 per cent, and a shift in the exchange rate from N441 to N750.

However, the NLC chairman asked the government to stop the proposed implementation of the new tariff plan.

“The plan to increase electricity tariff by 40 per cent by July 1st is insensitive and callous and reflects an organised indifference to the well-being of consumers, especially the poor ones.

“The issue of capacity to pay and quality of service delivery is not only germane, but is superior to any rationalisation by market logic. The service providers, in spite of sundry support, have not been able to meet the threshold of 5,000 megawatts,” the NLC president said in the statement.



    He added that such an increase would affect the cost of every other commodity and increase the hardship of many Nigerians.

    “Coupled with this, there have been surreptitious increases without notice in violation of statutes; the inherent risk in the new regime of tariff is that there is no control, implying that by August, consumers will pay new rates.

    “The other risk is that by the time other products or service-rendering entities come up with their new prices or rates, the ordinary person would have been compacted into dust.”

    “We would want to advise apostles of the Market who have called NLC all sorts of names to check their conscience; the rate at which they are going is highly combative and combustible,” he said.

    Beloved John is an investigative reporter with International Centre for Investigative Reporting.

    You can reach her via: [email protected]

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