Labour Threatens Industrial Action to Halt Electricity Tariff Hike
Organised labour, under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has warned that it would embark on an industrial action if the speculation about an increase in electricity tariff becomes a reality.
NLC stated this in a letter titled, “Notice on Speculations on increase in Electricity Tariff,” signed by its president, Ayuba Wabba.
The current electricity tariff charged for residential areas in both Abuja and Lagos ranges from N36 to N47.09 per kilowatt.
The federal government approved the last increase in electricity tariff in January 2021 following complaints by the operators of the distribution companies that low tariff was adversely affecting their business.
However, there have been speculations that the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was planning to grant fresh approvals for an increase in tariff by commencing the processes for the Minor Review of the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO-2020).
According to reports, NERC is considering the inflationary pressure, foreign exchange, gas prices and available generation capacity as part of the reasons for the proposal tariff hike.
However, there have been negotiations between the federal government and organised labour on modalities to use in arriving at a tariff mechanism acceptable to both parties.
In the letter, NLC dismissed reports of an on-going plan to increase electricity tariff as mere speculation.
The letter read, “We wish to draw your attention to the wave of speculation, especially as widely reported in the media, that there are fresh plans to grant approval to Electricity Distribution Companies to hike electricity tariff.
“We write to remind the minister that organised labour on September 28, 2020 through the federal government-organised labour committee on Electricity Tariff agreed to freeze further increases in electricity tariff until the committee concludes its work and its report adopted by all the principals in the committee.
“It is in light of this that we dismiss the on-going speculation on increase in electricity tariff as mere speculations. We, however, find it prudent to put you on notice that should government make true the swirling speculation by approving an increase in electricity tariff, oganised labour would be left with no option than to deploy the industrial mechanisms granted in our laws for the defense of workers’ rights.”