Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the move by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to increase electricity tariffs.
The organised labour has also condemned any plan to increase the cost of electricity, stressing that it will inflict further pains on Nigerians at this very time of great economic distress.
A statement issued yesterday by the President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba said the tariffs hike plan was dead on arrival.
“The new dribble by the Abuja Disco is dead on arrival as it will be resisted by the Nigerian working class and people. The other Discos should not bother putting their ships of exploitation to sail.
“The NLC is also deeply concerned on the deaf and dumb posture of the state electricity regulators – the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). “It is important to put on record the fact that NERC would be putting its name on the wrong side of history if it continues to play the ostrich while a group of portfolio investors make a blood meal of Nigerians. Nigerian electricity consumers need the “NERC to speak up and act now in defence of the rights of the Nigerian people,” he said..
NLC said it appeared that the adamant desire of the Discos in Nigeria to ram through their ill-conceived agenda to further impoverish Nigerians through astronomical tariff increase amidst a plummeting return on service delivery has now been deregulated.
“The Discos appear to have given themselves the ignoble tasks of taking turns to taunt the will of the Nigerian people. Abuja Disco has adorned the robe of the protagonist in this regard with its announcement of a new tariffs plan for electricity consumers within its service area starting from September 1, 2020.
“This move is in spite of the resolution of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and even the direct orders of Mr. President that the plans by the Discos to hike electricity tariff should be suspended until further notice. “We are not aware of any order by the government or the elected representatives of the Nigerian people de-freezing the order to suspend any plans to inflict more pocket and psychological trauma on Nigerians by way of reckless and insensitive hike in electricity tariff,” it said.
NLC said it was unfortunate that since the unbundling of the former PHCN to yield the Discos and Gencos, electricity tariffs through the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) have been increased a number of times without accompanying improvement in services.
“Each hike in electricity tariff in Nigeria is trailed by huge leap in hours of darkness, de-metering of more Nigerians, exponential rise in incidences of estimated billing, and increased burden on citizens for the procurement of equipment and facilities for public electricity supply amidst other devious methods by Discos to cheat, exploit and despoil poor Nigerians,” NLC said.