The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has condemned the latest increase in electricity tariff by the federal government of Nigeria.
NLC on Wednesday through its deputy president, Comrade Joe Ajaero rejected the increase, describing it as insensitive and unacceptable.
Ajaero who spoke when he appeared as a guest on Channels TV disclosed that stakeholders, particularly the committee working on the new electricity tariff regime were not carried along before announcing the decision to the public.
Naija News recalls the federal government through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Tuesday disclosed a new increased tariff which would affect some consumers.
The development was revealed by the NERC, in its December 2020 minor review of the Multi-Year Tariff Order and Minimum Remittance Order made available to newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.
According to the NERC in the report, the increase which varies, based on different consumer classes kicked off from January 1, 2021.
Clarifying the increase, NERC stated that customers on service bands D & E (customers being served less than an average of 12hrs of supply per day over a period of one month) remain frozen and subsidised.
The regulatory commission said the rates were adjusted by N2.00 to N4.00 per kWhr to reflect the partial impact of inflation and movement in foreign exchange.
Reacting to the development, Ajaero noted that the price adjustment/increase is contrary to the government’s agreement with labour.
He said: “There was a tariff increase by November which is being contested. A committee was set up headed by Keyamo and some of us are serving in that committee. We have not even finished addressing that issue and that adjustment was unjust and wasn’t necessary. Now, somebody is issuing a statement that there was an adjustment and it was not an increase. No matter how they play with semantics, Nigerians are noticing a lot of differences in what they are doing.
“90 per cent of Nigerians receive less than 12-hour electricity per day. All those issues of banding, band A, B, C, D, are all lies. Nigerians know more than this.
“There is an agreement with the labour on all these issues, the committee has not even submitted their report and NERC behaves as if it is from the moon and insensitive to Nigerians. This is not acceptable.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, on Tuesday, noted that the Federal Government did not increase electricity tariffs but adjusted some bands for users to pay what they are supposed to pay.
Keyamo disclosed this while speaking on TV interview programme monitored by our correspondent.
The Minister further stated that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission did not consult him or other members of the committee working on the new electricity tariffs before announcing the development.