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Electricity Workers Reject New Tariff, Demand Withdrawal

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As Nigerians continue to flay the recent increment of electricity tariff in the country, the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has rejected the hike, asking the federal government to withdrawal the new tariff.

They insisted that the adjustment in tariff will push the price of goods upwards and affect the poor.

Recall that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had, on April 3, increased electricity tariff for customers enjoying 20 hours of power supply daily, who are said to be under the “Band A” classification.

With the tariff increase, these customers are paying N225 kilowatt per hour from N66.

In a letter to the Minister of Power, NUEE described the increase as absurd for a country already facing steep increases in prices of goods and services.

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The letter, signed by the union’s acting General Secretary, Dominic Igwebike, said the increase would inadvertently push citizens to purchase foreign products as local products are beyond their reach.

The union added that this would force companies that could not withstand the consequent low patronage to close down.

While calling for the withdrawal of the new tariff as it is not beneficial to Nigerians, NUEE said the safety of its members was at stake and at the risk of being attacked by people in the community when they visit for disconnections.

It alleged that the minister did not seek the input of stakeholders before the decision was made.

The statement read: “The recent hike in electricity tariff from N68/kwh to N225/kwh is absurd in a country where the majority of the masses are grappling with basic survival and an electricity access rate of about 55%.

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“The justification given by NERC is that the hike is attributed to only Band A consumers who make up only 15% of electricity consumers and utilize 40% of the nation’s electricity consumption.

“It begs to understand the sensibility of the person(s) that uttered such a statement purporting that it would not affect the general public.

“They need to answer these questions: Who are the Band A consumers? What do they do? Who are the customers of the Band A consumers? Who bears the brunt of the electricity hike? The general public is the one that will be most affected by this.

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“They are the customers and end [1] users of the Band A products and services. The additional costs will be transferred to the common man, so they are indirectly being exploited, notwithstanding their dwindling purchasing power and increasing impoverishment.”

“The Honourable Minister of Power and NERC didn’t consult with the stakeholders in the sector before the increase. What of Service Reflective Tariffs as it relates to consumers? We, as a stakeholder, do not know the energy policy of this present administration.

“As a critical stakeholder in the power sector who is concerned with Nigerians getting constant and affordable power supply, we state categorically that the hike in the electricity tariff is not beneficial to Nigerians and should be withdrawn.”

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