No hike without increase in power, TUC insists

*Electric-meters.

*Electric-meters.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

25 March 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has reiterated its position against moves by the Nigeria Electricity Commission, NERC, electricity distribution and generation companies (Discos and Gencos) to increase electricity tariff.

The TUC said the move was anti-people and lacked every sense of logicality.

In a communiqué signed by the TUC President, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama, after a meeting with NERC officials, obtained by our correspondent in Abuja, the union described as lame the argument in some quarters that an act of the National Assembly actually empowers the Commission to unilaterally increase tariff and that the act cannot tamper with even by the federal parliament.

“For us, any act, policy or idea that does not consider the poor masses is undemocratic and evil. It is evil because it further impoverishes the masses. Naturally, our thinking is that business is all about investment and profit and not the other way round.

“Every business has its gestation period before it starts generating profit. Unfortunately, NERC and the investors do not want to go through the pains,” Kaigama said.

The TUC president argued that if the investors needed contributions from people to invest, it automatically makes the people shareholders to the company. “For NERC, DISCOs and GENCO to give the consumers crazy bills in order to rake in enough money without making them partners is unacceptable and fraudulent,” he said.

Kaigama said it is imperative that investors realise that government privatised the sector because it could no longer fund it, adding that the investors are expected to fund the sector without inflicting pains on the masses.

“The Congress told the NERC officials that truly the challenges in the sector are enormous, which remains the reason why it was privatised. However, the officials were advised to re-strategise. Nigerians are good followers and shall be willing to pay their bills if the product is made available. We are not ready to pay for the electricity we do not consume,” he said.

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