A labour leader in Rivers State has condemned the new electricity tariff, saying it is wrong for the federal government to increase tariff without revamping the power sector.
Assistant General Secretary, Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Company, Rivers State, Comrade Innocent Lord-Douglas, said the upward review of electricity tariff is meaningless while people are suffering from the poor power supply.
According to him, the negative effect of the tariff will pose a serious threat to electricity workers who will be on the field collecting the money, adding that Discos can not be supplying darkness and expect consumers to pay.
“My major concern is my responsibility to the security of life of my people, the people who are going to get this money. There is no power supply and electricity workers are the ones to go to the field and get the money. They are likely to face harassment and dehumanization situations from aggrieved consumers.
“Though I feel for consumers that will be experiencing higher tariff than what they used to pay. National Electricity Regulatory Commission NERC said they have given Discos authority to increase tariff twice a year but why have NERC not also put in principles that will evaluate the performance of Discos to equate with the level of tariff that is been increased twice a year? his is our concern”
He further urged Rivers people, civil societies organizations and all Nigerians to challenge the new tariff in court.
“I call on civil society organizations, spirited individuals, corporate organizations to go to court and challenge this new tariff. If it is challenged in court, there will be a reversal. The tariff reads that Rivers State residents are going to pay 48.39 per tariff, while Abuja the capital hub of the country is going to pay 47.09, Lagos which is the centre of this nation is going to pay 36.14.
“To us the new tariff we are seeing in Rivers State is unacceptable. How can a zone where electricity supply is hardly available pay such tariff compare to other regions of the country”
Comrade Douglas, however, advised electricity consumers in the state to get their prepaid metre to stop all outrageous billing, stressing that prepaid metres are now available for sale in all PHEC offices.