Labour leader wants reversal of electricity tariff hike, urges Rivers residents to join Monday’s protest

Tina Amanda

A Labour Leader has urged the Federal Government to intensify efforts in revamping the electricity sector by generating more power rather than introducing a new tariff.

Assistant General Secretary, Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, South-South Zone, Comrade Innocent Lord-Douglas, who made the suggestion in an interview with our correspondent Tina Amanda, said no consumer will be exempted from payment whether he or she enjoys up to twelve hours power supply a day, as stated by the government.

He noted that the tariff amount consumers will pay can never be measured with the poor electricity supply and that it would be difficult to reverse once implemented.

“The increment is telling on the Nigerian workers and the entire populace, the reason being that the minimum wage is not fully implemented. Government should have suspended increase in electricity tariff at this time when the supply is hardly available, it means people will now pay over fifty per cent of what they were paying initially.

“The position of labour is, government should have put up all its energy in revamping the electricity sector, make sure the people have more supply, rather than come up with a new tariff. The electricity distribution will never be compared with the outrageous amount consumers will pay for the tariff.

“Imagine Federal government coming up with the decision that the tariff is for those areas that enjoy up to twelve hours power supply every day, which you and I know it will never be possible. Once any operation is allowed to kick off in this country, it is always difficult to reverse.

“It is not true in the sense that, no consumer will be exempted from the tariff whether they get steady power or not. People will be forced to pay the new tariff, including me.

“We as labour force, we are against it and we want the federal government to reverse the electricity tariff to its previous state until this nation starts enjoying steady power supply, the government should not think of introducing new tariff”

He, however, urged Consumers to join Organised Labour in the proposed protest against the hike in electricity tariff.

“Since government has failed in all negotiations, we are calling on the people to join the labour force in the proposed strike, that is the only language Nigerian government understand, total shutdown of economic activities”