Electricity Tariff: Labour pickets NERC, DisCos in Lagos


The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Lagos State Chapter, has criticised the timing of the increase in electricity tariff, given the prevailing economic challenges facing the country.

The State Chairman, Mr Gbenga Ekundayo, made this known, on Monday, during the picketing of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), and Distribution Companies (DisCos) in Lagos.

The workers, chanting solidarity songs, were seen with placards having inscriptions such as, “Nigerian workers reject electricity tariff increase” among others.

The picketing, organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and TUC, was carried out simultaneously across the country.

According to Ekundayo, the increase in electricity tariffs not only adds to the financial burden of households, but also spells trouble for businesses, particularly in the manufacturing sector.

“With production costs soaring, companies are left with no choice but to pass on these expenses to consumers or face the grim reality of shutting down operations.

“Consequently, this vicious cycle of inflation and unemployment threatens to plunge the economy into further turmoil,” he said.

Ekundayo said that there was need for urgent action to alleviate the burden on citizens and businesses, and steer the economy toward a path of sustainable growth and prosperity.

He said that the government must first reconsider its decision to hike electricity tariffs, taking into account the already precarious economic situation.

“Additionally, efforts should be made to stabilise the exchange rate to mitigate the adverse effects of currency fluctuations on the cost of living.

“Moreover, diversifying the energy mix by ensuring that state governments invest in alternative sources could help reduce reliance on the gained national grid and ultimately lower electricity costs in the long run.

“Furthermore, enhancing efficiency in the distribution and management of electricity resources can lead to cost savings that can be passed on to consumers,” he said.

Ekundayo called for policies aimed at stimulating economic growth and job creation.

He said this was crucial in alleviating the financial strain on citizens.

“This includes incentivising investment, supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, and fostering a conducive business environment that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship.

“It is time for policymakers to prioritise the welfare of the people and implement measures that promote the affordability and accessibility of essential services like electricity,” Ekundayo said.

In her remarks, the State Chairman, NLC, Mrs Funmi Sessi, said that the picketing was not just for workers, but Nigerians in general.

Sessi said: “Injury to one is injury to all; this is an injury to Nigerians.

She said it was troubling, coming at a time when subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit had been removed, which had affected people’s purchasing power.

“Yet, there is no salary increment; life is becoming unbearable and tough for everyone.

“We must rise up with one voice to say enough is enough,” she said. (NAN)

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