• May 20, 2024

NLC,TUC shut NERC, DisCos offices over electricity tariff hike

 NLC,TUC shut NERC, DisCos offices over electricity tariff hike

By our Reporter

Members of the organised labour stormed 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 this morning is 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.

In Ebonyi State, members of NLC and TUC have picketed the offices of NERC and Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) in Abakaliki, capital city of Ebonyi State.

The Labour leaders blocked the NERC office at Nsugbe Street, Abakaliki, as early as 7:30am on Monday, chanting solidarity songs.

Apparently aware of the picketing, the staff of NERC were not seen as their offices were under lock and key.

Undeterred by the absence of NERC officials, the labour leaders still blocked the entrance gate of the NERC office for about an hour to ensure no one gained entrance into the premises.

They later proceeded to EEDC office at Awolowo Street, Abakaliki, where the offices were also seen to be under lock and key.

However, the labour leaders were still unperturbed as they besieged the Awolowo EEDC office for an hour before they proceeded to the second office of EEDC located at Town Planning road, opposite Correctional Centre, Abakaliki, where EEDC staff were seen at their offices.

But the labour leaders immediately ordered them out of their offices and asked them to go home, maintaining that no work until their demands are met.

In Plateau State, NLC and TUC officials have picket the headquarters of Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JED) along Ahmadu way in the metropolis.

The sealing of office was carried out by Plateau chapter of NLC and TUC officials in compliance with the directive of the Organised Labour over the hike in Electricity Tariff.

Checks showed that workers of the electricity company were locked out by an enforcement team as early as 6:30 a.m.

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.

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