The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has demanded that the Federal Government halts the proposed 40% increase in electricity tariffs from July 1, 2023.
The NLC considers the tariff hike to be insensitive and callous, expressing concerns about its impact on consumers, particularly the poor.
The NLC highlights issues such as insufficient service delivery, covert tariff increases, and potential hardships faced by ordinary Nigerians as other entities adjust their prices or rates.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has demanded that the Federal Government immediately halt the proposed increase in electricity tariffs set to commence on July 1, 2023.
In a statement signed by NLC President Joe Ajaero on June 22, strong opposition to the plan is expressed, condemning the 40% tariff hike as insensitive and heartless.
The NLC asserts that the increase demonstrates a disregard for the welfare of consumers, particularly those in vulnerable economic situations.
Specific figures are highlighted in the statement, including an inflation rise from 16.9% to 22.41% and an exchange rate shift from N441 to N750.
However, the NLC argues that even with these statistics, they fail to justify the proposed tariff increase, emphasizing that affordability and service quality should take precedence over market rationale.
The NLC further criticizes service providers for their failure to meet the 5000 megawatts (MW) threshold, despite receiving various forms of support.
Additional concerns are raised by the NLC regarding covert tariff increases without prior notice, which not only violate regu lations but also pose a significant risk by suggesting a lack of control. This could potentially burden consumers with new rates as early as August.
Furthermore, the NLC warns that as other entities adjust their prices or rates, ordinary Nigerians will bear the brunt of these cumulative financial pressures, ultimately leading to severe hardships.
According to the NLC statement, Nigeria is turning out to be a place where everyone is out for himself and consideration for others is lacking.
The NLC raised concerns about the many other costs and tariffs that Nigerians must cope with. A part of the statement read:
“With the contemplation of payment of school fees in tertiary institutions and increases in privately-owned ones in addition to other costs/tariffs on the way, life in Nigeria could truly be Hobbesian. The market economies which the market fundamentalists seek to emulate have in place socio-economic safeguards which we do not have.
“In light of this, our advice is that this proposed tariff hike should be shelved for our collective safety.”
The Q1 2023 Electricity Report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed that the number of metered customers in the country rose to 5.31 million during the period highlighted.
This indicates preparation for impending tariff adjustments.
Meanwhile, the distribution companies saw a notable revenue boost, with N247.33 billion collected in the highlighted period, signifying a growth of 20.81% compared to the first quarter of 2022.