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Politics

Organised labour laments electricity tariff hike, criticises government’s anti-people policy

The organised labour has bemoaned the hike in the price of electricity tariff announced by the Federal government earlier Wednesday, April 3rd, noting that the Federal government has once again goofed by its anti-people policy.

Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) Deputy President who is also the National President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Comrade Tommy Etim Okon, said this when he reacted to the new electricity tariff increase.

“The hike in the electricity tariff from N66/kWh to #225/kWh for those who enjoy electricity supply for 20 hours per day is unacceptable and a recipe for individual unrest.

“This shows clearly that Nigeria is not ready for 24-hour electricity supply.

“I think that the government has goofed again, especially at this time of socioeconomic challenges where the cost of living is very exorbitant and the salary of the workers remained static.

“Today, we are still battling with the fuel subsidy removal without any corresponding remedy and yet the increase in the electricity tariff without even the supply of electricity.

“I think the government should know that they were not voted into office for the enslavement of the citizens but to protect and better the lots of the masses. This is an indication that the poor can no longer breathe,” He said.

Furthermore, he accused the Federal Government of prioritising revenue generation over the welfare of Nigerians who were currently struggling to survive as a result of its anti-people policies from the assumption of power in power 2023.

Government in the announcement has said that the planned hike in electricity tariff will ensure at least 20 hours of power supply,

Comrade Okon, went on to advise the government to find ways of stabilising the economy before thinking of how to generate more revenue through taxation.

He also said that government action points to intentions to enslave the people through ill-thought policies. He urged the government to reconsider its stance and reverse the old tariff

He said: “If the labour union calls for protest government will say we are being insensitive but without consultation, they just woke up and announced an increase in the price of electricity

“No worker now can boast of anything with N30,000 minimum wage. Even when you give the worker N500,000 minimum wage today, the calculation on the ground and the high cost of living have already consumed everything before they even announced so where are we going from here

“If the government had put their priorities right, by now CNG buses would have flooded the cities and that would have reduced the price for both goods and services but they couldn’t even wait for that to take effect they jumped into increasing cooking gas, kerosine, diesel. At the end of all they are amassing revenue but if the masses die today who are you amassing them for?

“The hike in the electricity tariff from N66/kWh to N225/kWh for those who enjoy electricity supply for 20 hours per day is unacceptable and a recipe for industrial unrest.

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“This shows clearly that Nigeria is not ready for 24-hour electricity supply. As we speak, you cannot point anywhere in Nigeria that people are enjoying 20 hours of electricity supply not even at the airport where it is expected for economic reasons.

“I think that the government has goofed again, especially at this time of socioeconomic challenges where the cost of living is very exorbitant and the salary of the workers remained static. Today, we are still battling with the fuel subsidy removal without any corresponding remedy and yet the increase in the electricity tariff without even the supply of electricity.

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Okon added, “I think the government should know that they were not voted into office for the enslavement of the citizens but to protect and better the lots of the masses. This is an indication that the poor can no longer breathe.

Nobody put any government into power to enslave them otherwise why should we have a problem and you cannot think of the welfare of the people?

“Instead of thinking how to improve to a 24 hours supply they are now talking 20 and the 20 nobody can see it. This is unacceptable

“Government must reverse to the former tariff and allow the economy to have some level of stability so that we will not suffer in a worst scenario.”

The Labour leader further maintained that there were numerous avenues the government could generate revenue from without having to further impoverish the masses who were already finding it difficult to purchase God’s services.

“I think the essence of governance is to protect lives and properties and the welfare of the people. We know we agreed that taxation is good but when it is obvious that the concentration is on taxation and borrowing, it therefore becomes a known fact that the citizens are not being cared for

When you look at especially the workers, you removed oil subsidy, there is no remedy to it, the transportation is high there is no remedy for it and coming to electricity which we don’t even have you are taxing so that once you have 10,000 to load maybe a second it is consumed.

“It is also a door for industrial unrest especially now that negotiation for minimum wage is ongoing, and you are not thinking of the simple way of solving the socioeconomic challenge instead you are adding more salt to the injury of the battered workers talking less of the masses.”

 

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