By Bisi LAWAL, Tayo Afolabi



The staff of the Distribution Company (DisCo) in Jigawa, Imo, Osun and Kogi States got stranded outside the main building as the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) members joined their associates in other states to protest over the electricity tariff hike blocking the main gates of the company on Monday.

The NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) had previously announced their intention to shut down offices of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Distribution Companies (DisCos) nationwide due to their failure to comply with the demand for a total reversal of the electricity tariff hike.

In Jigawa on Monday, the NLC in the state picketed the office of NERC and sealed the Kano Electric Distribution Company (KEDCO) district office in Dutse the state capital.

The vice chairman of the NLC and chairman of the TUC state’s branches, comrade Hazakilu Husaini and comrade Bashir Tijjani Abubakar led the other union executives and carried out the exercise.

The unions in Osogbo, the state capital of Osun on Monday also blocked the main entrance of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) Business Hub to protest over the recent hike in electricity tariff.

Abimbola Fasasi, TUC Osun State Chairman, said that the protest was to make a statement and let the Federal Government know that the electricity tariff increment was unacceptable by Nigerians.

“The FG must reverse its decision on electricity tariff increment. We don’t want it at this time.

“The government has to develop and improve on electricity generation and supply.

“How many megawatts is Nigeria generating? They are just pumping money into power without results, and they want to heap the expenses on Nigerians.

“We are saying NO to electricity increment and additional burden on Nigerians and that is why we are here today picketing IBEDC offices,” he said.

In Imo, the workers of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), and NERC and Distribution Companies (DisCos) were locked out of their offices.

Speaking to journalists in Owerri on Monday, the NLC Chairman in Imo State, Comrade Uche Chigamezu Nwigwe noted that the regulatory bodies and EEDC have over one month now thrown Imo residents, especially workers into untold hardship with the exorbitant bill they bring that they did not consume.

He said: “The national Secretariat has given them a directive to picket all the offices of NERC, Discos and EEDC in the state starting from today Monday”.

Nwigwe regretted that since the 3rd of April 2024 when the Federal Government increased the Electricity tariff to over 200 per cent, he alleged that the distribution bodies have turned Imo workers into milking cows.

He noted that the increase in tariff is fraud and criminal because they are paying more now with no lights to show for it.

In Kogi State, NLC Chairman, Comrade Gabriel Amari said that it is high time the federal government listened attentively to the voices of Nigerians who are craving an end to their bad policies because Nigerians are really suffering.

Amari said “The Government promised us new minimum wage but failed to implement it. All they know how to do is to increase electricity tariffs without putting the masses into consideration.

“Increase in electricity tariffs is a broad day robbery which will not be accepted. They promised us change, but we failed to ask questions on what kind of change they are bringing on board.

“The government should know that people are suffering with their obnoxious policies. Nigerians are paying for electricity that they are not using. It is under this administration that we are witnessing discrimination in the distribution of power. We can’t continue like this.

“Privatization of the electricity sector is a complete failure and fraudulent. Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, (NERC), we are saying no to discrimination in electricity distribution. We will continue to resist every form of exploitation by this government,” he added.

According to him, Labour is the only voice that can stop the obnoxious policies of government that are anti-people.

He called on the government to give all Nigerians a uniform band and equal hours of electricity.

The NLC Vice Chairman, Opaluwa called for the immediate withdrawal of the new electricity tariffs, stressing that, the power sector has been neglected for several years by the government.


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