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Electricity Tariff Hike: Don’t Breach Our Agreement – Labour Union Warns Buhari’s Gov’t

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The Organised Labour has urged the Federal Government not to flout the agreement entered into with the FGN Labour Committee on Electricity Tariff to stop the further increase of electricity tariff.

Ayuba Wabba, the president, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, gave the warning in a statement on Friday,  September 24, 2021, in Abuja

Wabba said the organised labour was committed to the freezing of further increase in electricity tariff.

He said the attention of the NLC has been drawn to a report in one of the dailies on Sept. 21 that the electricity tariff would rise by over a hundred percent from January 2022.

”The story was purportedly distilled from the remarks of the Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure at the stakeholders’ engagement of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) held in Lagos on Sept.17.

”To be charitable, Congress had received a refutation of the newspaper report from the Special Adviser and Secretary of the FGN-Labour Committee on Electricity Tariff earlier on September 21.

”He also apprised Congress leadership that he had been contacted by some other newspapers between Sept. 8 and Sept. 20 for confirmation of the story and that he categorically debunked the basis and essence of the attributed statement.

“To quote the Special Adviser, ‘the press article and statements ascribed to me did not emanate from me or my office,” he said.

Wabba said that the Special Adviser ended with the commitment to “engagements with our Labour colleagues in furtherance of joint goals to improve the power sector and the Nigerian economy.”

The NLC president noted that fortunately, the rebuttal by the Special Adviser came before the newspaper was supplied to Congress National Secretariat.

He added that since the Special Adviser had pre-emptively reached out to Congress leadership beforehand, it was reasonable to treat the newspaper report with caution and give the Special Adviser the benefit of the doubt.

”We, however, note that the relevant part of the newspaper report revolves around the point that “the Federal Government is ending N300 billion subsidy by January 2022.

”In essence, Congress hopes that the newspaper report was an overly extended interpretation of the ostensible plan to end the subsidy of the electricity sector.

”It is rather significant to state that the existence of a subsidy or lack of it in the electricity sector is one of the contentious matters the FG-Labour Committee on Electricity Tariff was mandated to handle,” he said.

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