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Over FG’s Proposed Electricity Tariff Hike, Labour Threatens Strike


The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned the federal government that it will not hesitate to deploy industrial mechanisms should the speculation about an increase in electricity tariff becomes a reality.

It said that if it is true that government is making fresh plans to grant approval to electricity distribution companies to increase electricity tariff, labour would be left with no option than to deploy industrial mechanism granted in Nigeria’s laws for the defence of workers’ rights.

The current electricity tariff charges for residential areas in both Abuja and Lagos ranges from N36 to N47.09 per kilowatt.

The federal government had last approved an increase in electricity tariff in January 2021 following complaints by the operators of the electricity distribution companies that low tariff was adversely affecting their business.

Recent reports however had it that the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is about to grant fresh approvals for an increase in tariff by commencing the processes for the Minor Review of the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO-2020).

According to the reports, NERC said the review is to consider changes in inflation, foreign exchange, gas prices and available generation capacity.

However, there is a pending negotiation between the federal government and organised labour on the modalities to use in arriving at a tariff mechanism acceptable to both parties.

In a letter titled: ‘Notice on Speculations on increase in Electricity Tariff’ signed by NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, the Congress said it would like to dismiss the reports of an ongoing plan to increase electricity tariff as mere speculations.

NLC said: “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 minister that organized 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. We, however, find it prudent to put you on notice that should government make true the swirling speculation by approving an increase in electricity tariff, organized 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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