The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has condemned the decision of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to implement a new tariff plan for electricity consumers within its service area from September 1, 2020.
In a statement by its President, Ayuba Wabba, the NLC said it would reject any plan to inflict further pain on Nigerians at this very time of great economic distress.
According to Wabba, the move is against the resolution of the Senate and Federal Government’s directive that the plans by DISCOs to hike electricity tariff be suspended till next year.
In the release titled: “Increase in electricity tariff by Abuja DisCo – a taunting of the will of Nigerian people gone too far,” NLC noted that the new plan by AEDC was “dead on arrival as it will be resisted by the Nigerian working class and people.”
“It appears that the adamant desire of DISCOs in Nigeria to ram through their ill-conceived agenda to further impoverish Nigerians through astronomical tariff increase amidst a plummeting return on service delivery has now been deregulated.
“The DISCOs appear to have given themselves the ignoble tasks of taking turns to taunt the will of the Nigerian people.
“Abuja DISCO has adorned the robe of the protagonist in this regard with its announcement of a new tariff plan for electricity consumers within its service area starting from September 1, 2020.
“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.
“We wish to state that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) seriously frowns at, completely condemns and totally rejects any plan to inflict further pain on Nigerians at this very time of great economic distress. The new dribble by the Abuja DISCO is dead on arrival as it will be resisted by the Nigerian working class and people. The other DISCOs should not bother putting their ships of exploitation to sail,” Wabba said.
The NLC stated that it was deeply concerned on the deaf and dumb posture of the regulator- the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
“It is important to put on record the fact that NERC would be putting its name on the wrong side of history if it continues to play the Ostrich while a group of portfolio investors make a blood meal of Nigerians.
“Nigerian electricity consumers need the NERC to speak up and act now in defense of the rights of the Nigerian people,” the statement said.
Wabba also stated that since the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), electricity tariffs through the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) have been increased a number of times without accompanying improvement in services.
“It is unfortunate that since the unbundling of the former PHCN to yield DISCOS and GENCOs, electricity tariffs through the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) have been increased a number of times without accompanying improvement in services.
“Each hike in electricity tariff in Nigeria is trailed by huge leap in 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,” Wanna added.