Improve Power Supply, Not Electricity Tariffs, Aremu Tells Buhari

Improve Power Supply, Not Electricity Tariffs, Aremu Tells Buhari

By Eseme MacDonald | Associate Editor on February 8, 2016
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Tompolo Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari | Getty Images

The National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria on Sunday, February 7, 2016 advised the General Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to first improve power supply and not just increase electricity tariffs.

This was contained in a statement issued in Kaduna State by the Secretary General of the Union, Issa Aremu.

While urging the current administration to critically review the power sector reform with a view to increasing public sector investment, Aremu said: “We hereby declare our total support for the planned picketing by labour and civil society allies of all offices of the electricity distribution companies (DisCos) nationwide, including Abuja, on Monday Feb. 8, to protest the unilateral and unlawful hike of electricity tariffs.

“We commend Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) leadership for this mass action for improved power supply instead of incessant non-service charges.”

Aremu advised President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently revisit the report of the 2014 National Conference and implement the holistic recommendations for the power sector.

He said that the Federal Government should not allow the increase in tariff “by the underperforming generating and distribution companies.”

“The point cannot be overstated; Power/Energy is so strategic to the industrialisation and the wellbeing of the people,’’ the former Vice President of the NLC said.

He also appealed to the federal government to urgently review the privatisation contracts with the electricity Generation Companies (GenCos) and DisCos.

Aremu said the firms should be given a two- year time-frame “to allow them stabilise and provide efficient power supply to Nigerians before they can contemplate any tariff increase. ”

The General Secretary further said that there should be more transparency in all future sales of the nation’s assets.

“We reject the hike in electricity tariffs and hereby call on our members across the country and all well meaning Nigerians to come out and join NLC protest to drive home the fact that the unilateral and unlawful hike of electricity tariffs is unacceptable.

“The point cannot be overstated. Between 30 per cent and 35 per cent of textile and garment manufacturing costs are energy related expenses.

“Without electrification, there can be no industrialisation.

“The promise and expectation that President Buhari will revive textile industry generally is not possible without electricity.”

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