NLC rejects new tariff hike for Band A customers

Onwubuke Melvin
Onwubuke Melvin

The Nigeria Labour Congress has expressed concern about the recent increase in the tariff payable by Band A users from N206.80 to N209.5 per kilowatt-hour.

While demanding a reversal of the new tariff, the NLC accused the Federal Government of insensitivity and insincerity.

This disclosure was made in a statement by the President of NLC, Joe Ajaero on Thursday, according to The Punch.

Ajaero stated that the increase in electricity tariffs constituted the pinnacle of impunity and arrogance, claiming that the development would drive more entrepreneurs out of business and create further difficulties for consumers.

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

According to NLC, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission authorized the revised fee due to high operational costs caused by rising inflation and exchange rate changes.

Ajaero recalled that during the previous national strike, the Federal Government pledged to address the increase in Band A rate from 68/kWh, and questioned why the next step was another tariff hike rather than 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.”

“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 noted.

Meanwhile, the NLC president denounced another raise instead of a reversal, claiming that this is further proof of the government’s insincerity while also being 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

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 said, “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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