The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has described as insensitive the decision of the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to go ahead with their planned electricity hike today.
In a reaction yesterday to media reports that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was yet to reverse the decision taken in December 2019 to hike electricity tariff from April 1, 2020, NLC president, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said that there are very strong concerns that the NERC might go ahead with the proposal.
He said that at a time like this, when other countries are expanding social welfare and putting in place economic stimulus including distribution of free foods, free healthcare services, sanitary kits, utility bills reduction, debt moratorium, and cash support to insulate their citizens from the harsh realities of the war against the novel Coronavirus, Nigeria can’t be inflicting more pains on its citizens.
Wabba, therefore, said that the NLC “completely condemns and totally rejects any plan to inflict further pain on Nigerians at this very trying period of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic through increase in electricity tariff.”
He said that, “if there is any time to show that peoples’ lives are all that really matters, it is now! 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.”
The NLC president warned that any hike in electricity tariff would only convey a deafening expression of insensitivity to the plight of the Nigerian people who are currently dealing with the social scare, income hemorrhage, economic squeeze and mortal dread of Covid-19.
He urged NERC not to embark on any fruitless adventure that would cast aspersion on the good intentions of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that Nigerians and indeed the global community have a real enemy to deal with and that is COVID-19.
Wabba also cautioned that it would be totally unwise to make enemies out of ourselves and exacerbate the high voltage social tension that currently cascades all over the country.