Hike in Electricity Prices: NLC refuse modern-day slavery on Nigerians by DISCOs

Nigerians should remember that the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) made a similar attempt in March 2020
Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC)

The Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) says it is going to organize workers to fight any attempts at hiking in vital charges of public service.

NLC president Mr Ayuba Wabba gave the notice in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.

Wabba said some of the worst socio-economic vicissitudes caused by the novel coronavirus disease still happen to the Nigerians.

The labour leader responded to the recent attempt by Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs), operating under the auspices of the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), to unilaterally raise the tariff on electricity from 1 July 2020 by around 100%.

He described the scheduled move as being insensitive and provocative.

Wabba said Nigerians should remember that the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) made a similar attempt in March 2020 but was effectively rebuffed by the NLC and the Nigerian public.

According to him, the NLC rejects any further hike in the tariff for electricity, the pump price of petrol and other essential charges for public utilities.

He said,

“The NLC is fully ready to mobilise our people to resist attempts by anyone to impose modern-day slavery on Nigerians, be they DISCOs or Regulators of Public Utilities.

“We insist that further hike in tariff and user access charges at this time of great socio-economic dislocation would be ultra-insensitive, callous and a pre-meditated attempt to send many Nigerians, workers, pensioners and businesses to untimely graves.

“In the interest of fairness, equity and justice, we demand that the DISCOs refund Nigerians all the estimated billings that had been unjustly collected from our people all these years.

“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 the government,’’

Wabba said that before subscribing to the privatization program of the power sector, DISCOs were fully aware of the conditions.

He added that none of the Nigerian people's propaganda, trickery and abuse.

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 privatisation. Enough is enough.

“The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress reiterates its resolve to act on the side and in the interest of the Nigerian people, workers and pensioners always,’’
Wabba added.

He also commended the Senate intervention in calling off the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) threat to hike the tariff for electricity.

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