The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), on Thursday, declared that a nationwide protest against the increment in electricity tariffs, as announced by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), will hold on Monday, February 8.
A statement issued by NLCs president, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, decried the hike in electricity tariff, lamenting that it was an unnecessary move by the federal government as there has been zero improvement in power supply.
The statement added that there was a subsisting Court Order by a Federal High Court in Lagos which stated that there should be no further increment in the electricity tariff.
According to NLC the planned protest, which will involve the NLC, the TUC and electricity consumers, would hold simultaneously in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
The statement read, “The due process in the extant laws for such increment was not followed in consonance with section 76 of the Power Sector Reform Act, 2005.
“There has been no significant improvement in service delivery. Moreover, the fact is that most consumers are not metered in accordance with the signed privatization Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, of November 1, 2013, which stipulates that within 18 months gestation period, all consumers are to be metered.
“There is a subsisting Court Order dated May 28, 2015, by Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, in the case of Toluwani Yemi-Adebiyi versus NERC & Orders, that there shall be no further increment until the determination of the substantive suit. The increment at this time negates the present biting and prevailing economic recession vis-a-vis an attempt to further impoverish the poor masses.
According to the statement, the protest “is a nation-wide protest, meaning that the 36 states of the federation, including Abuja, will be involved in this action. Our members have been sufficiently mobilized and are ready to go. If you are an electricity consumer and you are not happy with the bills electricity companies serve you every month, you are invited to join this protest rally.
“The Abuja rally will start at Labour House, Central Business District at 8.00am before moving to the NERC head office at Adamawa Plaza, Plot 1099, First Avenue, Off Shehu Shagari Way, Central Business District. From the NERC office, the rally will roll to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company at Zone 4. The rally will mobilise from there to the National Assembly.
“This protest rally has become necessary after all effort to make NERC shelve the idea of increase failed. Indeed, rather than see reason with Nigerians, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing has been advancing spurious arguments in justification.”