• May 20, 2024

Workers stranded as labour pickets Jos DisCo, NERC

 Workers stranded as labour pickets Jos DisCo, NERC

The members of the Nigerian Labour Congress(NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have blocked the Jos headquarters of electricity distribution company road at the capital of Plateau state on Monday, in a bid to protest against the recent hike in electricity tarrif throughout the country.

The offices of National Electricity Regulatory Commission at Gold and Base axis of Jos have also been blocked ultimately, leaving the workers of the commission stranded.

According to PUNCH, Eugene Mangji, the State Chairman said the obstruction was in accordance with the directives from National secretariat, in order to send a signal to the commission to reverse the increments in electricity tariff.

“We have shot down the NERC office at Gold and Base. Right now, we are the JED headquarters at the Ahmadu Bello Way. We will continue until the right thing is done,” Eugene said.

Earlier before the protest, TUC and NLC gave NERC the ultimatum to reverse the electricity tariff on or before May 12, 2024 or face industrial action from both congresses.

However, the ultimatum was clearly stated in a letter sent to Chairman/CEO of NERC with copies also forwarded to Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), the Minister of Labour and Power and some other Stakeholders in Distribution Companies.

The letter read: “This is to refer you to our May Day address where we expressed grave concerns regarding the recent announcement of an astronomical hike in electricity tariff across the nation from N65/kWh to N225/Kwh by your commission.

“We believe that this decision is not just morally reprehensible considering the difficulties Nigerians are faced with currently, but it blatantly disregards fundamental principles and statutory obligations.

“It is a slap in the face of justice and fairness, and we will not stand idly by as the masses and workers are subjected to such unacceptable exploitation.

“As the electricity sector regulator, it is imperative that your commission grasps the weight of its responsibilities. NERC’s role entails the regulation of electricity tariffs in the country, a duty outlined in explicit detail within the statutes governing the commission.

“Yet, with this recent tariff hike, which you have consented to, it is evident that the Commission has forsaken its duty and abandoned the people it was meant to protect to the fat cats in the electricity industry.

“We are miffed that NERC has become a tacit collaborator in crafting the oppressive pricing regime being perpetuated against Nigerian workers and people. The Laws that set up the commission mandate it to act as an unbiased ombudsman in the electricity industry.

“Unfortunately, the reverse is the case as it has acted in cahoots with the Distribution Companies, DisCos, and the Generating Companies, GenCos, to promote their nefarious market practices.

“The announced tariff hike not only defies the established procedure mandated by law but also tramples upon the rights of Nigerian citizens. It is a flagrant abuse of power and a clear violation of the trust bestowed upon your commission by the Nigerian people. Such actions will not be tolerated, and we refuse to accept them as the new norm.

“Nigeria workers and masses led by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, stand united in denouncing this injustice. We must defend the rights of our fellow citizens against exploitation.

“Therefore, we demand an immediate reversal of the hike in electricity tariff to N65/kwh, immediate cessation of the discriminatory practice of segregating electricity consumers into arbitrary bands, and restoration of the supremacy of the statutes governing the conduct of operators within the electricity industry.

“We give you until Sunday, May 12, 2024, to comply. Failure to do so will result in swift and decisive action on our part as we will not hesitate to mobilise our members and occupy all NERC’s offices and those of the DisCos nationwide until justice is served.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *