Labour Demands Reversal Of N209.5 Electricity Tariff Increase

Organised labour has called for the immediate reversal of the electricity tariff hike by distribution companies (DISCOs) for “Band A” customers.

Effective July 1, 2024, electricity customers in the “Band A” category will pay N209.5 instead of the N206.80 they previously paid.

In a statement sent to LEADERSHIP, the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, described the increment as the “height of impunity and arrogance,”.

The labour leader warned that it would force more companies out of business and create further consumer difficulties.

Recently, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) raised the alarm that unresolved issues surrounding an earlier 250% hike in tariffs had led to significant national disruptions and the closure of 300 businesses.
The 250 percent increase had already sparked widespread outrage among citizens and organised labour, resulting in a one-day protest.

Ajaero emphasised that the earlier protests were paused only due to assurances from relevant authorities, including the National Assembly, that the matter would be addressed quietly.
He said the new hike, instead of the promised reversal, demonstrates the government’s insincerity and insensitivity.

According to him, the increase was “unjustifiable, unreasonable, and malevolent” and called on the government and DISCOs to cease actions that harm both the people and the economy.

The statement reads in parts, “The hike in tariff by DisCos from N206.80 to N209.5 (with effect from July 1) for the so-called band ‘A’ customers represents the height of impunity and arrogance and will certainly put more companies out of business as well as create more difficulties for consumers.

“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”.

“The three excuses DisCos gave (exchange rate, interest rate and cost of gas) as justification for this increase underscore our argument that governments and entities in the energy sector are not serious about finding an enduring solution to our energy crisis. They are treating the symptoms.

“Given the further damage this latest wave of increases will do to our economy, we demand an immediate reversal of the hike. It is unjustifiable, unreasonable, and malevolent. The government and DISCOs should stop killing the people and the economy,” Ajaero added.

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