Labour Unions to Picket NERC, DisCos Nationwide Over Electricity Tariff Hike

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have announced plans to picket the offices of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and electricity distribution companies (DisCos) across the nation on Monday in protest against the recent hike in electricity tariff.
In a joint statement issued by NLC’s Ag General Secretary, Chris Uyot, and TUC’s counterpart, Anka Hassan, the unions notified of the picketing action scheduled to occur simultaneously nationwide on Monday, May 13, 2024.
“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.”
The decision to picket follows the failure of a Sunday reversal deadline set after the NERC reviewed the tariff, particularly for electricity consumers enjoying at least 20 hours of daily power supply.
Expressing their dissatisfaction with the tariff hike, the labour unions emphasized the need for joint action against both NERC and the DisCos.
The recent increase in electricity tariff has sparked widespread criticism, especially amidst rising inflation and the removal of petroleum subsidy, making it difficult for Nigerians to bear additional financial burdens.
Human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) accused the Federal Government of raising funds for “cash-trapped” DisCos through the tariff hike.
However, Minister of Power Adebayo Adelabu defended the move, citing provisions in the Electricity Act, 2023, which allow for tariff reviews twice in a year.
“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.”
In response to public outcry, the House of Representatives intervened, calling for the suspension of the tariff hike’s implementation by NERC.
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