Labour Insists Tinubu Govt Must Reverse Electricity Tariff Hike

Daud Olatunji

 The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have jointly demanded that President Bola Tinubu’s administration reverse the recent electricity tariff hike and abolish the classification of customers into bands.

 This call was made following a joint National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the NLC’s National Headquarters on Tuesday.

The NEC meeting, the highest decision-making body of the Organised Labour, was convened to deliberate on the federal government’s offer of a higher national minimum wage, following the commencement of an indefinite nationwide strike action. 

The communique, signed by NLC President Joe Ajaero and TUC President Festus Osifo, underscores the urgency of addressing the tariff hike and discriminatory band classification to alleviate the financial burden on Nigerian workers and the general populace.

“The NEC-in-Session is deeply disappointed by the government’s silence and lack of concrete action regarding the reversal of the electricity tariff hike and the abolition of the apartheid classification of electricity consumers into Bands,” the communique stated.

 The labour leaders emphasized that these issues are critical and must be addressed alongside any discussions on wage increases.

The NEC insisted that the electricity tariff hike and the discriminatory band classification are unacceptable, stressing that they exacerbate the financial hardships faced by Nigerians. 

“The electricity tariff hike and discriminatory Band classification remain unacceptable and must be addressed alongside the wage increase,” the communique continued.

In a strategic move, the labour unions have agreed to relax the indefinite nationwide strike for one week, starting from today, to allow the Federal Government time to commit to a concrete and acceptable National Minimum Wage.

 Additionally, they expect definitive steps to reverse the electricity tariff hike back to N66/kWh and to abolish the discriminatory band classification.

The communique further directed all affiliate unions and state councils to return to their workplaces immediately, highlighting the need to maintain open channels of communication with the government. 

“The NLC and TUC National Leadership are mandated to continue to maintain open channels of communication with the Federal Government to negotiate and secure favourable outcomes for Nigerian workers and people,” it read.

The NEC expressed profound gratitude to Nigerian workers and the general public for their unwavering support and solidarity during this critical struggle for improved living and working conditions. 

The labour leaders reaffirmed their commitment to protecting the rights and welfare of all Nigerian people and workers, urging everyone to await further directives as negotiations continue.

This development follows heightened tensions and economic challenges, with the labour unions steadfast in their mission to secure better conditions for the Nigerian workforce.

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