Electricity Supply Nationwide May Be Disrupted, As Labour Pickets NERC, DisCos Offices  Over Electricity Tariff Hike


By Damilola Bello

There may be a general disruption of the electricity supply in the country today, Monday 13, 2024 as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) will picket the offices of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and distribution companies (DisCos)’s premises nationwide over the hike in electricity tariff.

According to a press release sent out to all the NLC affiliates and offices nationwide, and sighted by Business Standards, the unions stated:“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 statement jointly signed  by NLC’s Ag General Secretary Chris Uyot and his TUC counterpart Anka Hassan stated, “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.”

Their action followed a hike in the tariff for electricity consumers who enjoy at least 20 hours of daily power supply.

Though the NERC had reviewed the tariff, the labour unions said they were picketing the agency’s office as well as the premises of distribution companies after a Sunday reversal deadline failed.

The recent tariff hike for electricity consumers has continued to draw comments from several quarters.

With inflation rising to new highs and Nigerians grappling with the removal of petroleum subsidy, the increase in tariff was met with stiff opposition.

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) had claimed that the Federal Government was raising funds for the “cash-trapped” DisCoS with the tariff hike.

But while defending the move, the Minister of Power Adebayo Adelabu said the Federal Government will pay about N1.8trn in electricity subsidy in 2024.

He argued that the Electricity Act of 2023 made provisions for the review of tariffs twice yearly.

 “Review of tariff is legal once it is within the exclusive responsibility of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC),” he said in Channels Television’s Politics Today. “The Act provides for review twice in a year, every six months.”

Following the backlash generated by the move, the House of Representatives asked NERC to suspend the implementation of the tariff hike.

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