….says planned hike should be shelved.
The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, has called for the proposed 40% increase in electricity tariff to be shelved.
It comes just days after a revelation from the power sector that Nigerians may have to brace up to another hike in the cost of power- by as much as 40%.
But in a statement released on Thursday, Mr. Ajaero described the plan as “insensitive and callous” and argued that it reflected an “organised indifference to the well-being of consumers, especially the poor ones.”
He noted that the increase was being justified by the recent hike in the pump price of petrol, inflation rates, and exchange rate shifts, but argued that these factors did not justify the proposed tariff hike. Mr. Ajaero also highlighted concerns about the capacity of service providers to deliver quality service and meet the threshold of 5000 megawatts, as well as the risk that consumers would face further increases without notice.
Mr. Ajaero’s statement reflects growing opposition to the proposed tariff hike, which has been criticised by consumer groups, civil society organisations, and political parties.
There are fears that the increase will have a significant impact on consumers, particularly those on low incomes who are already struggling to pay bills. Mr. Ajaero’s call for the tariff hike to be shelved highlights the need for a more equitable and sustainable approach to energy pricing in Nigeria.
The NLC President also criticised the “Market Fundamentalists” who have attacked the labour movement for opposing the tariff hike. He argued that their approach was “highly combative and combustible” and warned that it could lead to social unrest.
He then called for socio-economic safeguards to be put in place to protect consumers and ensure that they are not “compacted into dust” by rising costs and tariffs.