NLC Threatens Strike Action Over Planned Electricity Tariff Hike

The Nigerian Labour Congress has stated that if the Federal Government implements a proposed increase in electricity tariffs, workers will go on strike.

It reminded the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige of the agreement struck on September 28, 2020, between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Organised Labour Committee on Electricity Tariffs.

At the meeting, the two parties agreed to put a hold on additional increases in electricity tariffs until the committee completed its work and its report was approved by all of the committee’s principals.

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, handed down the notice in a reaction to speculations that the 11 power distribution companies had received approval to slightly increase electricity tariffs with effect from September 1.

The suggestion came in the form of an August 25 notification to clients from Eko Electricity Distribution Company headlined ‘Re: Tariff Increase Notification,’ apparently signed by General Manager, Loss Reduction, Olumide Anthony-Jerome.

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The notice claimed that the approval was from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

It read, “This is to officially notify you that there will be an increase in electricity tariff with effect from September 1, 2021.

“This increase is as a result of the nationwide mandate to implement the Service-Based Tariff approved by our regulators.”

According to the newly approved plan, customers with lower power consumption capacity have their rates increased by N2 per kilowatts hour from N54.08/kWh to N56.08/kWh and are promised at least 20 hours of supply daily.

However, Eko DisCo denied the said notice, saying customers would be informed of any change on its website.

However, in a statement titled ‘Notice on speculations about rising in power tariffs’ issued on Wednesday in response to the news, Wabba warned that the organized labour would not tolerate any tariff increases.

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He stated, “We wish to draw your attention to the wave of speculation, especially as widely reported in the media that there are fresh plans to grant approval to electricity distribution companies to hike electricity tariff.

“We write to remind the Honourable Minister that the organised labour on September 28, 2020, through the Federal Government-Organized Labour Committee on Electricity Tariff agreed to freeze further increases in electricity tariff until the committee concludes its work and its report adopted by all the principals in the committee.

“It is in light of this that we dismiss the ongoing speculation on increase in electricity tariff as mere speculations.

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“We, however, find it prudent to put you on notice that should the government make true the swirling speculation by approving an increase in electricity tariff, Organised Labour would be left with no option than to deploy the industrial mechanisms granted in our laws for the defence of workers’ rights.”

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