Labour Union, Manufacturers Kick against New Electricity Price

Manufacturers and Labour union have joined many others to condemn the hike electricity tariff that was implemented yesterday.

Already, some power distributions have adjusted their price since the the implementation of the new price regime in Tuesday.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has vowed to resist the increase as it considered the hike in tariff as a way to further impoverish Nigerians.

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) also said the hike could lead to recession in the third quarter of the year.

Makig his position known, the NLC said that implementation of the new tariff was despite the resolution of the Senate and the direct orders of President Muhammadu Buhari, that the tarriff be suspended until further notice.

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, has also expressed disappointment in the new rate.

For instance, the spokesman for the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) in a statement said the company has started implementing new Service Reflective Tariff Plan (SRT) across its franchise area from Sept. 1.

Oyebode Fadipe said the SRT plan is a Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) mandated tariff structure, whereby an upward increment in tariffs will result in substantially longer hours of power supply.

He said that the tariff structure would also result in good quality voltage profile, swifter response to faults clearing and provision of pre-paid meters.

The Discos said on Tuesday that electricity customers, except those receiving less than 12 hours of supply, would have to pay more.

With the review, the tariffs being charged residential consumers receiving a minimum of 12 hours of power supply has increased by over 70 percent.

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the move would be resisted and cautioned the DISCOs against going ahead with the implementation of the new electricity tariff.

He stated this in a statement on Tuesday titled ‘Increase in electricity tariff by Abuja DISCO – A taunting of the will of the Nigerian people gone too far’.

Wabba said, “The DISCOs appear to have given themselves the ignoble tasks of taunting and testing the will of the Nigerian people.

“Abuja DISCO has adorned the robe of the protagonist with its recent announcement of a new tariff plan for electricity consumers within the sphere of its service area.

“This move is despite the resolution of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and even the direct orders of Mr President himself that the plans by DISCOs to hike electricity tariff should be suspended until further notice.

“We are not aware of any order by the government or the elected representatives of the Nigerian people de-freezing the order to suspend any plans to inflict more pocket and psychological trauma on Nigerians by way of reckless and insensitive hike in electricity tariff.”

The union pointed out that since the unbundling of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, electricity tariffs through the Multi-Year Tariff Order had been increased a number of times without accompanying improvement in services.

“Each hike in electricity tariff in Nigeria is trailed by huge leap in the hours of darkness, de-metering of more Nigerians, exponential rise in incidences of estimated billing, and increased burden on citizens for the procurement of equipment and facilities for public electricity supply amidst other devious methods by DISCOs to cheat, exploit and despoil poor Nigerians,” Wabba said.

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