• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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NLC, TUC, shutdown Discos offices nationwide

Why the NLC’s tactics hurt more than they help – Part 2

The Nigeria Labour Council (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have shut down disCos offices nationwide over the electricity tariff hike amid hardship in Nigeria.

BusinessDay gathered that the organised labour prevented workers from having access to their office to work early Monday morning as they thronged various offices of electricity distribution companies to protest the Band A tariff hike.

The organised labour, had last night, distributed reminder notices to all its branch offices and affiliates, across the nation in respect of a proposed nationwide protest to commence today, Monday.

Organised labour is protesting the electricity tariff hike and removal of subsidies from the power sector by the federal government.

With the picketing of all the offices of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) organised labour is also expected to shutdown of the Abuja headquarters of the agency, the Ministry of Power and state offices of power distribution companies.

Labour unions disrupt NERC, DisCos offices over electricity tariff hike

BusinessDay findings: Members of the NLC and TUC staged protests at the corporate headquarters of the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company in Lagos and the office of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company in Oyo.

Their demonstrations disrupted normal operations, preventing workers from resuming their duties for the day.

The protesters voiced their demands for the reversal of the Band A tariff increase, chanting slogans and advocating for fairer electricity pricing.

Similarly, in Jos, members of the NLC and the TUC in Plateau State took action by blocking the entrance of the Jos Electricity Distribution Company headquarters, as well as picketing the offices of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in the Gold and Base axis of Jos, leaving workers stranded.

Eugene Manji, the Plateau state chairman of NLC, said while addressing journalists, “We have been directed from our national headquarters of NLC to ensure that we comply with the directives that all the distribution offices across the nation are locked. So that’s why we’re here to picket that of the Plateau State.

“All offices, not just this one, you are seeing, we have send our members to other places. Some have gone to Vom to ensure that there is compliance, this is applicable in all the other offices. So we are here to ensure total compliance that’s why we locked the offices”.

Manji added that the protest was for the whole day while the state chapter of NLC will report back to the headquarters.

The surge in electricity tariffs, implemented by the federal government, has triggered a wave of dissent among consumers and industry players alike, citing concerns over affordability and equitable access to essential services.

The protest at the JED office in Jos by NLC epitomises the mounting pressure faced by utility companies grappling with the repercussions of tariff hikes, as they navigate the delicate balance between public welfare and operational sustainability.

Amidst the ongoing protests against the federal government’s electricity tariff hike, voices of discontent resonate among staff at the Jos Electricity Distribution (JED) office. Even though they pleaded anonymity, they however expressed their frustrations.

“We feel betrayed by the sudden surge in tariffs,” laments a senior technician at the JED headquarters who pleaded anonymity, but echoing the sentiments shared by many of his colleagues.

A customer service representative who also pleaded anonymity expressed frustration, stating, “The increase in tariffs places an undue burden on consumers already struggling to make ends meet.”

“We stand in solidarity with the union’s stance against unjust tariff hikes,” declares an administrative assistant, emphasising the collective resolve among staff to challenge government policies perceived as detrimental to the public interest.

Amidst the chaos, a maintenance technician, highlights the ripple effects of the tariff hike.

“It’s not just about us; it’s about the communities we serve, who will bear the brunt of these exorbitant rates.”

The protest at the JED office by NLC serves as a reminder of the human cost behind policy decisions.