The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says it will deploy the industrial mechanisms granted in labour laws for the defence of workers’ rights to resist increase in electricity tariff.
NLC President Ayuba Wabba said this Wednesday in a statement in Abuja.
The position came as indications emerged that the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) may have commenced the implementation of the new tariff regime.
Warning on possible strike if this turned out to be through, the NLC said:
“It is in light of this that we dismiss the ongoing speculation on increase in electricity tariff as mere speculations.
“We, however, find it prudent to put you on notice should government make true the swirling speculation by approving an increase in electricity tariff.
“Organised Labour will be left with no option than to deploy the industrial mechanisms granted in our laws for the defense of workers’ rights,’’ he said.
Wabba said that NLC had written to remind the minister that Organised Labour on Sept. 28, 2020 through the Federal Government/Organised Labour Committee on electricity tariff, agreed to freeze further increases in tariff.
The News Agency of Nigeria quoted the labour leader as saying the committee agreed to freeze electricity tariff until it concluded its work and its report adopted by all the principals in the committee.
The new tariff
Meanwhile, the DisCos Tuesday began the implementation of a new electricity tariff regime.
In press statements issued Monday, the distribution companies notified their customers of the commencement of the new charges.
Last week, Premium Times had reported how the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission/(NERC)) directed the DisCos to maintain a N4 tariff for all customers consuming less than 50kWh of energy per month.
NERC said the electricity tariff reviews would only follow service-based principles and prior consultation with customers.
In their statements, Monday, some of the DisCos said they would commence the implementation of the new tariff beginning from Tuesday.
For instance, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) said it had commenced the implementation of the new service reflective tariff plan (SRT) across its franchise area.
AEDC General Manager Corporate Communications Oyebode Fadipe said the increment would result in longer hours of power supply.
“The Service Reflective Tariff (SRT) plan is a NERC mandated tariff structure whereby an upward increment in tariffs will result in substantially longer hours of power supply, good quality voltage profile, swifter response to faults clearing and provision of pre-paid meters,” the AEDC spokesperson said.
“The new tariff design proposes an upwardly adjusted tariff for customers who are not averse to paying more to enjoy longer hours of supply, standard voltage profile and faster fault clearance timelines.
“While we keep working at ensuring all classes of customers enjoy improved supply, customers who enjoy less than 12hrs of supply will not be affected by the new tariff plan. Hours of supply to this class of customers will also not be adversely affected by the implementation of the plan,” he further said.
Similarly, the Ikeja Electric in its statement said there would be a deferment of the new applicable tariff for customers in service bands D and E (customers who enjoy less than 12 hours power supply daily over a period of one month for the period September 2020 to January 2021).
The Disco said that it would only effects the new tariff once there is appreciable improvement in service quality.
Kaduna Electric on its part said service-based tariff approved by NERC would be implemented from September to December. The new regime is service-based as customers on estimated billing will be exempted from the new tariff system.
For customers within Kaduna Electric’s jurisdiction, the tariff cost per Kwh ranges from N66.42 for those in Band A (with supply rate of 20 hours and above) to N45.28 for customers in Band E (supply of 4 hours and above).
The new tariff regime being implemented by Discos kicks off Tuesday. There are expectations that it will be reviewed on a quarterly basis.