• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Electricity: Why we’re insisting on total reversal of tariff hike – Labour

Electricity: Why we’re insisting on total reversal of tariff hike – Labour

…threatens industrial action

The organised labour under the aegis of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), on Monday, insisted on a total reversal of the recent hike in electricity tariff for consumers categorised under Band A, from N68/ per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to N225/kWh, citing illegality, inflationary trends, and low purchasing power of Nigerians.

This is as the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has announced a reduction in the tariffs for the affected Band A customers, effective immediately.

On Monday, Ikeja Electric Distribution Company (IE) announced a reduction in its electricity tariff for customers categorised under Band A, lowering the rate from N225kWh to N206.80/kWh.

But Tommy Okon, president of ASCSN, who addressed the media during the National Executive Council (NEC) of the ASCSN in Lagos, handed down a seven-day ultimatum within which the Federal Government and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) should reverse the hiked tariff or face the wrath of workers.

Okon argued that the increase in the first place for those enjoying power supply up to 20 hours and above daily, did not follow a laid down process, including a public hearing by stakeholders, and, therefore, tantamount to illegality.

He also cited the spiralling effects of the hike at a time Nigerians were confronted with inflation, higher transportation costs, scarcity of fuel, and rising food prices, all of which, according to him, have impacted negatively on the disposable income of an average Nigerian, especially workers whose income is fixed.

“On May 1, the organised labour movement decided that the tariff hike must be reversed, and the National Assembly has also supported this stance,” Okon said, just as he lamented the burden already faced by the workers as a result of the current fuel scarcity.

On the minimum wage, Okon assured ASCSN members that the issue would be resolved by the end of this month and further justified the N615,000 demand, which he said was due to the cost-of-living crisis in the country. He challenged the government and those opposed to the N615 demand for labour to come up with their proposal.

Okon also stressed the need for organised labour to be represented on the committee set up to implement the Oresanya report, as its implementation may lead to job losses if labour is not represented.