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The increase in electricity tariff is a betrayal of trust that will worsen the economic hardship being experienced by Nigerians, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has said.
The Congress said this in a joint statement released by Quadri Olaleye, TUC president, and Musa-Lawal Ozigi, secretary-general of TUC, on Tuesday.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had approved an increase in electricity tariff across the country, adding that it will not affect low-income areas with lesser energy supply.
NERC attributed the tariff increase to Nigeria’s inflation rate; exchange rate; US rate of inflation; available generation capacity; gas price; ministries, departments and agencies (MDA) losses; and capital expenditure adjustment.
The TUC called on the Federal Government to reverse the increase (between N2 to N4 per kilowatt-hour) to the old price.
Said TUC: “We are disappointed by the recent hike in electricity tariff, while negotiations were ongoing with the organised labour on the last hike because of the untold hardship it has brought on the workers and Nigerians as a whole.
“Sometimes we wonder why this government espouses unfriendly policies that are capable of crippling the economy.
“There are many companies that have either closed shops or relocated to neighbouring countries because they cannot afford to pay the last tariff hike, yet this government has done another one.
“It has become obvious that the outrages from the organised labour and the masses, and the series of negotiations we had with the government were just cosmetic and hypocritical.
“How can the government go ahead to increase tariff again when we have not resolved the one done earlier? This is preposterous, ridiculous and sheer wickedness.
“How many people can afford to pay the last bill, talk less of this recent one? The organised labour should not be pushed to the wall because it will actually do all no good.
“Government must revert to the old price or be willing to accept the outcome of this decision. This is a betrayal of trust and it is unfortunate”.
This recent electricity tariff comes in after the NERC implemented a hike in November 2020 which sparked widespread condemnation.