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Labour Pickets NERC, DisCos Offices Over Electricity Tariff Hike

As early as 7AM on Monday, members of the labour unions blocked the main gate of the distribution company located in the Kaduna State capital amidst tight security. 


Labour unions picked the headquarters of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission in Abuja on Monday, May 13, 2024, over demanding reversal of electricity tariff hike. Photo by Channels Television’s Taiwo Adeshina

 

Members of the organised labour, on Monday picketed the offices of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and distribution companies (DisCos)’s premises nationwide over the hike in electricity tariff. 

The action of the workers follows a joint directive from the leadership of both the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) at weekend to their members to picket these offices in protest of the tariff hike.

“We write to inform you of the picketing action scheduled to take place in the offices of the NERC and Electricity Distribution companies (DISCOS) in all states, including the FCT,” the unions said in a joint statement by NLC’s Ag General Secretary Chris Uyot and his TUC counterpart Anka Hassan

“The action will jointly take place on Monday, 13th of May, 2024 nationwide simultaneously. Therefore, the two Labour centres are directed to work together to carry out this important action. While counting on your usual cooperation, kindly accept the assurances of our goodwill and highest regards.”

Leading members of the labour unions in the protest at the headquarters of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in Abuja was the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, with the workers asking for an immediate reversal in the hike of the electricity tariff.

As early as 7AM on Monday, members of the labour unions blocked the main gate of the distribution company located in the Kaduna State capital amidst tight security.

Staff of the company were prevented from going into the premises as the protesting union members demand for the reversal of the tariff hike.

In Kwara State, the union members blocked the entrance of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company in the state capital Ilorin.

Led by the state chairman of the NLC, gate of the company was locked and the staff were prevented from gaining access into their offices as early as eight 8AM on Monday morning.

The chairman of the NLC, Saheed Olayinka, said the hike in tariff has been having negative effects on the populace and asked the Federal Government to reverse it.

The picketing, he added, will continue until the demands of the reversal is met.

The union members, who were carrying placards with different inscriptions and singing solidarity songs, stationed themselves around the premises while the workers of the DisCo sat patiently awaiting further directive.

Similarly, in Akure, the Ondo State capital, some members of the TUC shut the Head office of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC). They gathered at the front of the company’s office protesting the electricity tariff hike.

Also, in Edo State, leaders and members of the NLC picketed the headquarters of the BEDC on Akpakpava Road in Benin City the state capital.

The unions including that of electricity workers are also complaining about the dangers the hike has exposed them to.

It is a similar story in Zamfara where members of the organized labour picketed the offices of the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), preventing the staff of the two offices from accessing the buildings.

The Chairman of the TUC in Zamfara State, Comrade Saidu Mudi, urged the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, reverse the tariff to the old price.