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Labour threatens showdown as FG insists on electricity tariff hike

prepaid meters

The Federal Government has flayed Organised Labour’s opposition to the electricity tariff hike and the removal of the subsidy in the sector.

The Ministry of Power spokesperson, Florence Eke, noted that the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu’s justification of the electricity tariff hike at the Senate public hearing on Monday last week was still valid.

In an interview with Punch, she said the government was “not toeing the path of trade unions’’ on the issue of electricity tariff.

According to her, the burden of the electricity subsidy was too much for the government to bear and it was not sustainable.

Eke stated this against the background of the two-week ultimatum issued by organised labour demanding the reversal of the increase in the electricity tariff.

But the Trade Union Congress on Sunday insisted on the two-week ultimatum it gave to the Federal Government to reverse the tariff.

Also, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, faulted the tariff hike.

According to him, the government cannot fix tariffs in a sector that is already deregulated.

The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission announced the hike in the electricity tariff for Band A customers at a press briefing in Abuja, on April 3, revealing that those affected would pay N225 per kilowatt-hour, up from the previous rate of N68/kWh, representing about 240 per cent increase.

Subsidy on electricity was withdrawn completely from the tariff of customers in the Band A category, who constituted about 15 per cent of the total 12.82 million power consumers across the country.

Based on the tariff hike, the Federal Government said it would save N1.5tn.

The government stated that the decision took effect on April 3, 2024, adding that Band A customers would enjoy up to 20 hours of power supply daily.

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