The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has decried alleged plans to increase electricity tariffs in the country.
In a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, described the alleged plans as a “deafening expression of insensitivity.”
According to him, there are very strong concerns that the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) might go ahead with the planned increase in electricity tariff from April 1.
He said: “The concerns in the public domain are not helped by reports that the NERC has not issued any reversal order to Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) on the planned tariff increase in power utility.
“We wish to state that the Congress seriously frowns at, completely condemns and totally rejects any plan to inflict further pain on Nigerians at this very trying period of COVID-19 pandemic, through an increase in electricity tariff.
“All the leaders of our affiliate unions were unanimous in rejecting the planned increase in electricity tariff during our recent interactive session with NERC in Kano.
“We wish to state that any increase in electricity tariff would only convey a deafening expression of insensitivity to the plight of the Nigerian people.
“People who are currently dealing with the social scare, income hemorrhage, economic squeeze and mortal dread of COVID-19.”
Wabba stressed that at a time like this, other countries of the world battling the COVID-19 pandemic are expanding social welfare and putting in place economic stimulus such as the distribution of free foods, free healthcare services, sanitary kits, utility bills reduction, debt moratorium, and cash support just to insulate their citizens from the harsh realities of the war against the deadly Virus.
The NLC chief said Nigeria’s case cannot be different.
“ If there is any time to show that it is people before profit, it is now.
“If there is any time to show that the very essence of government is the security and welfare of citizens, it is now.
“The war effort right now is how to beat the COVID-19 health insurgency and not scare-mongering already beleaguered citizens with electricity bills they cannot afford,” Wabba concluded.