The Nigeria Labour Union has condemned in strongest terms the new electricity tariff insisting that it is not only wicked but grand deceit perpetrated against the Nigerian people.
The Labour union hastherefore vowed to use every available means to resist the new increase in theelectricity tariff even as it accused the Federal Government of deceit andinsensitivity to the plight of Nigerians at this period the Coronaviruspandemic has caused havoc to the people, adding that if the action of thegovernment was not resisted, exploitation in the country would have no end.
President of the Congress, Comrade AyubaWabba, who reacted to the sudden hike in electricity tariff said that it wouldhave a toll on manufacturers in the country which would, in turn, lead to jobloss.
He said, “This is notonly condemnable but I think there is some element of deceit in it becausethere is a standing committee of the federal government which the electricityregulatory commission is part of it still working on how to be able to addressthe issue of electricity hike arising from the last hike which labourintervened.
“Most of the members are not even aware ofthis current Increase. Basically, we are going to resist it and Nigerians mustalso stand up to resist it because it’s like exploitation it means that thisexploitation will not have an end and when you look at the variable it is evenlaughable.
“You are looking at the variable of Inflation,and the variable of the exchange rate which is supposed to be part of theresponsibility of the government to fix.
The Government ought to fix our economy andbring the exchange rate to the lowest level, same with also Inflation andtherefore it is transferring inefficiency in our system by the government nowto the consumers which the implication will be very severe.
“Most of our manufacturers both small andmedium scale will not be able to afford all of this, they have been crying andthe implication is that there will be some lay off because people will nowresort to importation, most of these small and medium-term enterprises willresort to importation instead of producing here at home.
“It will also affect the diversification policy, and certainly it will further impoverish Nigerians especially workers because currently, we are under the yoke of paying excessive charges overall services and this on this very important commodity is the worst.
“It is really unfortunate also because in mayclimes, the government is subsidising power because of the impact of COVID-19on businesses, health and impact of COVID-19 in the world of work includingAfrican countries.”
Accusing the government of insensitivity,Wabba further said, “We have statistics of countries that have actuallyassisted to make sure that electricity tariff is even suspended for some timeand there have not been any increase.
“But unfortunately, I do not think we havelooked at all of these and the implication is that there will be graveconsequences if this is not really challenged.
“And very soon, organised labour will try to look at the issue and we respond appropriately, that I will assure you because it has bastardised the work of this very Important committee that we thought social dialogue will be able to bring the solution.
“It is one issue that affects every family,every home, and business. It is a very sensitive issue that the governmentought to be very sensitive to. I have said time without numbers that theNigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC is hand in glove with theservice providers Instead of siding with the customers.
“Even the very important laws that are put inplace to guide such arbitrary increase have not been respected. For instance,the customers’ forum which I remember we held in Kano where all of us resistedthis particular increase because it has no basis. In fact, partof the work the committee is doing is to look at the price of gas to thegenerating firms to be able to bring down even the current price before thisincrease so basically it has certainly also bastardised the process of socialdialogue.