Labour Unions Set To Begin Protests Over New Electricity Tariffs


The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress, and civil society allies say they are set to embark on a nationwide protest on Monday against the 45 per cent increase in electricity tariffs announced by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

According to a statement signed by the NLC president Ayuba Wabba on Thursday, the protest will hold Monday, February 8, in Abuja and across the nation.

It is a nation-wide protest, meaning that the 36 states of the Federation including Abuja will be involved in this action.

He said the Abuja protest will start at Labour House, Central Business District at 8.00am, before moving to the NERC head office at Adamawa Plaza, Plot 1099, First Avenue, Off Shehu Shagari Way, Central Business District. From the NERC office, the protest is to move to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company at Zone 4 and then to the National Assembly.

Also See: FG Hikes Electricity Tariffs; Abolishes Fixed Charges

Wabba urged all consumers who are not happy about the increase to join in the protest.

Our members have been sufficiently mobilized and are ready to go. If you are an electricity consumer and you are not happy with the bills electricity companies serve you every month, you are invited to join this protest rally.

The Labour Unions say the protest was prompted after all effort to make NERC reconsider the idea increment  failed.

He said,

Rather than see reason with Nigerians, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing has been advancing spurious argument in justification.

Then he added,

Earlier, Nigerians had spontaneously moved to the streets in Lagos, Benin, Kano and other cities when NERC announced this increase in the last quarter of 2015.

At the level of the Congress, we had issued a communiqué on December 22, 2015 rejecting this tariff hike and demanding that pre-paid metres be made available free to all consumers.

We reached out to core government constituencies including the Minister of Power, the leadership of the National Assembly and NERC, all in an effort to find an amicable resolution through the quality of the logic of argument and practical realities on ground which include the incontrovertible fact that even before this increment, Nigeria paid the highest tariff per kilo-watt in Africa and contiguous regions. We pay much higher than Egypt and countries with stronger economies.

He condemned the increment saying it is was intended to protect the investment of a select few and not to serve the interest of all Nigerian.

We would want to make the point that this tariff increase is only intended to protect the investment of a select few and not to serve the interest of other Nigerians. In light of all of the above, this increase is illegal, unfair, unjustifiable and a further exploitation of the already exploited Nigerians

Also See: “Prepaid Meters Will Go Round In One Year.” – NERC Promises