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Labour Unions To Picket NERC, DisCos Offices On Monday Over Electricity Tariff Hike



The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) will picket the office of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and distribution companies (DisCos)’s premises nationwide on Monday over the hike in electricity tariff.

“We write to inform you of the picketing action scheduled to take place in the offices of the NERC and Electricity Distribution companies (DISCOS) in all states, including the FCT,” the unions said in a joint statement by NLC’s Ag General Secretary Chris Uyot and his TUC counterpart Anka Hassan

“The action will jointly take place on Monday, 13th of May, 2024 nationwide simultaneously. Therefore, the two Labour centres are directed to work together to carry out this important action. While counting on your usual cooperation, kindly accept the assurances of our goodwill and highest regards.”

Their action followed a hike in the tariff for electricity consumers who enjoy at least 20 hours of daily power supply.

Though the NERC had reviewed the tariff, the labour unions said they were picketing the agency’s office as well as the premises of distribution companies after a Sunday reversal deadline failed.

The recent tariff hike for electricity consumers has continued to draw comments from several quarters.

With inflation rising to new highs and Nigerians grappling with the removal of petroleum subsidies, the increase in tariff was met with stiff opposition.

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) had claimed that the Federal Government was raising funds for the “cash-trapped” DisCoS with the tariff hike.

But while defending the move, the Minister of Power Adebayo Adelabu said the Federal Government will pay about N1.8trn in electricity subsidy in 2024.

He argued that the Electricity Act, 2023 made provisions for the review of tariffs twice yearly.

“Review of tariff is actually legal once it is within the exclusive responsibility of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC),” he said on an edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today. “The Act actually provides for review twice in a year, every six months.”

Following the clapback generated by the move, the House of Representatives asked NERC to suspend the implementation of the tariff hike.