Labour to Resist Electricity Tariff Increase
The NERC plan to increase electricity tariffs by end of October has got the official labour red flag with the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) vowing to resist reported plans by electricity distribution companies in the country with the support of the industry regulator to increase tariff.
TUC in a statement described the reported plans as “wrong and lacks human face especially in view of the present harsh economic realities in the land”.
The statement issued and signed by the TUC President, Bobboi Bala Kaigama and Secretary-Genera, Musa Lawal said: “Also, the Congress is informed that NERC is considering introducing measures that will facilitate reduction of the rate of the fixed charge on consumers. What has been happening all along is same with what is obtainable in the telecom sector. They either assign tones to subscribers or enrol them on plans that attract daily, weekly or monthly deductions. We say no to this idea. The N750 charge is fundamentally fraudulent and unjust and must be outrightly abolished. Anyone canvassing its sustenance or any increase in tariff does a grave disservice to the nation.
According to the statement, the implementation of the planned increase would amount to an invitation to anarchy. It is totally oppressive, indefensible and retrogressive. Little wonder that the NERC has been foot-dragging on the issue of making prepaid meters readily available to consumers of electricity because of the excessive billing they have been imposing on all and sundry.
There is no gainsaying the fact that the present billing system is crazy, and any increase in tariff at this time is bound to make it even crazier. The NERC and DISCOs would do well to shun anything that would attract the wrath of the masses.
The statement concluded by advising NERC and the DISCOs that Nigerians expect them to earnestly adopt genuinely consumer-friendly policies. The fact that power supply hass relatively improved within the last few months does not mean that the myriad of challenges bedeviling the sector were over.