Tariff hike: Nigerians wallowing in power poverty – Ajaero

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The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero said Nigerians are currently wallowing in power poverty given the abysmal low supply of electricity.

Ajaero said this at the ongoing protest at the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission in Abuja.

Recall that the Organized Labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress, and their affiliates, vowed to ground offices of the NERC nationwide on Monday about the recent hike in electricity tariffs.

While addressing protesters and management of the NERC, Ajaero noted that the current supply generated by Nigeria is not even enough for Lagos, which is just one state in Nigeria.

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Ajaero also faulted the move by the NERC to hike tariff without engagements with stakeholders in the power sector.

He said, “We are here on a peaceful protest, having written so many letters to NERC to remind them that they cannot increase tariffs without meeting with Nigerians. We reminded them that the process of increasing tariffs requires that they meet with all stakeholders, including labour.

“We do not know where this current tariff is coming from. NERC is not oblivious to the fact that Nigeria is wallowing in lower poverty. Nigeria is down the line as one of the countries in the world that are poor in terms of power supply.

“What Nigeria is generating Today is not enough for Lagos alone and it is bad enough for you now to tell us that some Nigerians are bigger than the others. It is bad enough for you to say some Nigerians will get 20 hours while other Nigerians will get two hours.”

The NERC announced the hike in the electricity tariff for Band A customers at a press briefing in Abuja on April 3, revealing that those affected would pay N225 per kilowatt-hour, up from the previous rate of N68/kWh.

The hike represented a 240 per cent increase.

The development marked the removal of subsidy from the tariff of customers in the Band A category, who constituted about 15 per cent of the total 12.82 million power consumers across the country.

Based on the tariff hike, the Federal Government said it would save N1.5tn.

The government stated that the decision took effect on April 3, 2024, adding that Band A customers would enjoy up to 20 hours of power supply daily.

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