Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Nigerian workers express displeasure over tariff hike in Kaduna, others 

The Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, and Organised Private Sector, on Wednesday, expressed displeasure over the latest hike in the electricity tariff payable by customers in the Band A Category.

On Wednesday, some distribution companies including Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, and Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, among others, announced an upward review of their tariffs for Band A from N206.80 per kilowatt-hour to N209.50/kWh.

The tariffs for Bands B, C, D, and E remain unchanged.

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While the increase appears marginal, organised labour, private sector operators and consumers expressed disappointment. 

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The Kaduna Disco, in a statement titled, ‘Upward Review of Tariff for Band A Feeders’, disclosed that the new tariff became effective on July 1.

“Dear esteemed customers, the management of Kaduna Electric informs the public of an upward review in the tariff of Band A feeders from N206.80/kWh to N209.5/kWh.

“The review is effective from July 1, 2024, and affects both prepaid and postpaid customers. Kaduna Electric assures customers on its Band A feeders of the continued availability of 20-24hrs supply daily as stipulated in the Service Based Tariff regime,” the statement read.

“The public should please note that the tariff for Bands B, C, D, and E remains unchanged.”

Protests 

The National Vice President of the Nigerian Association of Small-Scale Industrialists, Segun Kuti-George, said the move was going to cause an additional shutdown of industries.

“We do not need any further increase now. Any increase in inputs would translate to an increase in cost. We are already experiencing an increase in cost, which means we are facing an increase in the cost of manufacturing. This is unsustainable.”

Also, the Executive Director, Electricity Consumer Protection Centre, Princewill Okorie, condemned the hike in tariff.

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“We need to ask the legislators what they are doing. There was a public hearing on this tariff increase. Is it that the legislators don’t have any authority anymore? Why did the NERC go ahead to increase tariffs despite all we have done? That means nobody calls them to order. Are they above the law? The legislators were elected by the consumers who are the electorates. It is expected that they protect their interest. I was at the public hearing and I made presentations there.

“If the consumers take to the street, police will take out their guns, but now that the rights of the consumers are being violated and they are treated like slaves, what is the police saying? What are the Leaderships of the National Assembly doing? NERC is violating the laws by the legislators that put them in place.

“Who else will deliver Nigerians? It is like the legislature does not have power anymore. Why did they spend more to conduct the public hearing on the tariff increase when they knew there would be no result? The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria took Discos to court. What is the verdict? Who do the people respect?” Okorie queried.

On his part, an official of the Nigeria Labour Congress declared that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission did not seek the inputs of NLC before approving the latest tariff hike.

The NLC official, who pleaded not to be named due to lack of authorisation to speak on the matter at the moment, said the labour union would resist the hike.

*Additional reporting by Punch.

 

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