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Factual Reportage

The workers of Jos Electricity Distribution Company and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission were put in state of confusion as members of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress in Plateau State on Monday prevented them from accessing their respective offices.

It was gathered that the labour unions started a public demonstration on Monday morning against the recent electricity tariff hike in the country.

The NLC and TUC members blocked the electricity workers’ offices to demand the immediate reversal of the hike.

Speaking to journalists during the public demonstration, the Plateau State Chairman of the NLC, Eugene Mangji, said the action was to force the authorities to reverse the recent hike in electricity tariff.

“We have shot down the NERC office at Gold and Base. Right now, we are the JED headquarters at the Ahmadu Bello Way. We will continue until the right thing is done,” the NLC chairman said.

Last week, SaharaReporters reported that the NLC and TUC had given NERC an ultimatum to withdraw the recent hike in electricity tariff or face unprecedented industrial action.

The Nigerian government had announced the hike in electricity tariff at a press briefing in Abuja by NERC, adding that those affected would pay N225 per kilowatt-hour, up from the previous rate of N68/kWh, representing about 240 per cent increase.

The government stated that the decision took effect on April 3, 2024.

But last week, the government approved a downward review of electricity tariff for Band A customers.

Band A customers are citizens who enjoy a daily supply of a minimum of 20 hours

Under the approved review, Band A customers who hitherto were charged N225/Kwh would pay N206.80/Kwh instead.

The NLC and TUC had kicked against the hike in electricity tariff for customers and demanded that the decision be reversed.

They argued that the hike in tariff would send manufacturers out of business, worsen inflation and stifle small and medium enterprises, adding that there was no place in Nigeria currently enjoying up to 20 hours of power supply daily.

In a joint letter to the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, CEO, dated May 3, 2024, and copied to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, the Ministers of Labour and Power and the electricity distribution companies, DisCos, among others, Joe Ajaero and Festus Osifo, President of NLC and his TUC’s counterpart respectively gave the NERC till May 12 to withdraw the tariff.

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