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Nigeria News

Tariff Hike: Nationwide darkness looms as electricity workers threaten strike

Nationwide darkness looms as the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, has insisted on withdrawing their services if the Nigerian Government fails to rescind the recently approved electricity tariff hike.

In a statement by its acting General Secretary, Dominic Igwebike, NUEE told the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu that if nothing was done about the withdrawal of the tariff, its members will take decisive action.

Recall that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission had on April 3 raised the electricity tariff for band customers getting 20 hours of power supply daily.

The tariff hike saw Band A customers paying N225 per kilowatt-hour from N66KWh.

However, NUEE joined the Nigerian Labour Congress, Trade Unions Congress and others to condemn the tariff hike.

The workers in the power sector insisted that it is not feasible to have 20 hours of electricity supply, hence, the government should rescind the tariff increase.

“The recent hike in electricity tariff from N68/kWh to N225/kWh is absurd in a country where most of the masses are grappling with basic survival and an electricity access rate of about 55 per cent. The hike in the electricity tariff is grossly detrimental to Nigeria’s economic diversification, growth, and well-being.

“As a critical stakeholder in the power sector concerned with Nigerians getting constant and affordable power supply, we state categorically that the hike in the electricity tariff is not beneficial to Nigerians and should be withdrawn.

“We just want the citizens to know that this thing is not possible, it is not feasible, you cannot give what you don’t have.

“When we don’t have the energy to give to the people, and you ask our people to go out and collect such money, you know it is dangerous. We often don’t disclose what to do to the public because our sector is critical to the nation,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Power, who spoke through his media aide, Bolaji Tunji, said the government was doing everything to improve supply in Nigeria, and everybody would be happy at the end of the day.

“We want to appeal to the labour union to understand what led to this. This is not about strike. It is about understanding so that we can all work together.

“It is not anybody’s joy that there are blackouts all the time. These steps are being taken to solve the problems in the power sector. I beg the labour union to understand that this will galvanise the economy and create jobs.

“I want to appeal to the union to bear with us. It is for the good of the nation,” he stated.

Meanwhile, since the tariff hike, the power supply has dropped nationwide, as electricity customers lament the lack of a sufficient power supply across the country.

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