From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has on Friday, issued another warning to the federal government against disregarding their agreement on electricity tariff hike.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, in a statement, said that on September 28, 2020, the FGN-labour committee on electricity had reached a consensus which states that power distribution companies should put a hold on any increase in energy tariff till further notice.
The NLC President, however, disclosed that the attention of the NLC had been drawn to a media report that the electricity tariff would rise by over a hundred percent from January 2022.
”The story was purportedly distilled from the remarks of the Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure at the stakeholders’ engagement of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) held in Lagos on Sept.17,” Wabba said
”To be charitable, Congress had received a refutation of the newspaper report from the Special Adviser and Secretary of the FGN-Labour Committee on Electricity Tariff earlier on Sept. 21.
”He also apprised Congress leadership that he had been contacted by some other newspapers between Sept. 8 and Sept. 20 for confirmation of the story and that he categorically debunked the basis and essence of the attributed statement.
”We, however, note that the relevant part of the newspaper report revolves around the point that “the Federal Government is ending N300 Billion subsidy by January 2022
In essence, Congress hopes that the newspaper report was an overly extended interpretation of the ostensible plan to end the subsidy of the electricity sector.
”It is rather significant to state that the existence of a subsidy or lack of it in the electricity sector is one of the contentious matters the FG-Labour Committee on Electricity Tariff was mandated to handle.”
Wabba insisted that there cannot be any hike until the FGN-labour committee on electricity tariff concludes its work and its report submitted and adopted by the principals in the broad FG-Labour platform, led by the secretary to the government of the federation and the Presidents of NLC and TUC, respectively.
Recall that the NLC had earlier in the month, vowed that it would deploy the industrial mechanics in labour laws to resist any planned increase in electricity tariff.