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HomeNewsElectricity tariff hike: FG convenes meeting as Labour threatens indefinite protest

Electricity tariff hike: FG convenes meeting as Labour threatens indefinite protest

Electricity tariff hike: FG convenes meeting as Labour threatens indefinite protest

The Federal Government will next week hold a crucial meeting to address the demands by organised labour for the restoration of the power subsidy and the reversal of the hike in electricity tariff.

The spokesperson for the Ministry of Power, Mrs Florence Eke, disclosed this to newsmen, hours after the labour unions disrupted activities at the ministry in Abuja, on Monday.

However, organised labour has threatened to continue with the protest indefinitely, stressing that it might take drastic action should the government fail to reverse the tariff hike.

The protests paralysed activities at the Federal Ministry of Power, and the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission and also disrupted the operations of the distribution companies across the country.

The nationwide protests were triggered by the Federal Government’s decision to raise electricity tariffs and remove the subsidy from the power sector.

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.

The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria had earlier given the NERC until May 12, to reverse the hike or face labour action.

Speaking to newsmen on the moves to contain the protests, the spokesperson for the power ministry, Eke, said that the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Mamman Mahmuda, acknowledged the National Union of Electricity Employees’ concerns regarding the lack of sufficient consultation before the implementation of the new tariffs.

She said the ministry was committed to transparency and would engage in a comprehensive dialogue with all relevant parties to discuss the issues raised.

“The union was at the Power House today and they were addressed by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Power. He assured that the ministry would call for a stakeholder meeting by next week where all issues will be addressed because one of the points they raised was that there was not enough consultation before the tariff was increased. The permanent secretary said as policymakers, the ministry would invite the stakeholders by next week,’’ she said.

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