The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has warned that the Federal Government must be ready to face consequences of increasing electricity tariffs.
This is contained in a statement by Quadri Olaleye, TUC President; and Musa Lawal, Secretary-General, on Tuesday.
It described the decision as ‘wicked’ and ‘another betrayal of trust’ coming in the middle of ongoing negotiations by the FG and the organised labour on the November 1, 2020 hike.
“Does it mean there is no other way this government can creatively generate revenue? It has become obvious that the outrages from the organised labour and the masses and the series of negotiations we had with the government were just cosmetic and hypocritical.
“There is so much deceit and laziness in the system; there is hardly any promise made that they have followed through.
“Only yesterday (Monday), we read again that the Academic Staff Union of Universities is withdrawing its members because this same government has reneged on its promises reached a few days ago.
“How can the government go-ahead with increase in tariffs again when we have not resolved the one done earlier? This is preposterous, ridiculous and sheer wickedness.”
“The economy was struggling before the outbreak of the pandemic and we thought it wise not to worsen our situation. The sacrifice means nothing to these people, who forced us to tighten our belt while they loosened theirs.
“Darkness enhances criminal activities and now they have chosen to keep us in the darkness thinking their high fences will save them. We call on the government to be responsible for once. Nigerians will like to know what we gained from border closures. Insecurity did not stop, neither did it stop the smuggling of rice and others.”
“You don’t just churn out policies without weighing the pros and cons. How many people can afford to pay the last bill talk less of this recent one? The organised labour should not be pushed to the wall because it will actually do all no good. The government must revert to the old price or be willing to accept the outcome of this decision. This is a betrayal of trust and it is unfortunate.”
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had announced an increase in tariffs on Tuesday but retracted saying the N2 to N4 adjustment in tariff on inflation and movement in foreign exchange rates.
Providing reasons for the latest tariff hike, the commission said it considered the 14.9 per cent inflation rate rise in November 2020 and foreign exchange of N379.4/$1 as of December 29, 2020.
Others were available generation capacity, the United States inflation rate of 1.22 per cent and the Capital Expenditure of the power firms before the tariff was raised.
The commission also stated that the new tariff would be effective till June 2021 while a Cost Reflective Tariff would be activated from July to December 2021.
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