The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria on Sunday told the Federal Government to make electricity available before asking Nigerians to pay for what they did not use.
The Congress reiterated its position against moves by the Nigeria Electricity Commission (NERC), distribution and generation companies to increase electricity tariff.
Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, President, TUC and Comrade Simeso Amachree, Ag. Secretary General, TUC, described the move as anti-people and stressed that it lacks every sense of logicality “hence the series of warning protest rally and picketing of offices of NERC and electricity distribution companies throughout the country”.
Recently at a meeting held with officials of NERC, the Congress described as lame the argument in some quarters that an act of the National Assembly actually empowers the Commission to unilaterally increase tariff and that the act cannot be tampered with even by the Federal Parliament. For us, any act, policy or idea if you like, that does not consider the poor masses is undemocratic and evil. It is evil because it further impoverishes the masses.
According to the statement, “Naturally, our thinking is that business is all about investment and profit and not the other way round. Every business has its gestation period before it starts generating profit, unfortunately, NERC and the investors do not want to go through the pains. Again, if they need contributions from people to invest it automatically makes the people shareholders to the company. For NERC, DisCos and GenCOs to give the consumers crazy bills in order to muster enough money without making them partners is unacceptable.
“It is imperative that investors realize that government privatized the sector because it could no longer fund it. The investor is expected to fund the sector without inflicting pains on the masses.
“The Congress told the NERC officials that truly the challenges in the sector are enormous which remains the reason why it was privatized, however, the officials were advised to re-strategise.
“Nigerians are good followers and shall be willing to pay their bills if the product is available. WE ARE NOT READY TO PAY FOR THE ELECTRICITY WE DID NOT CONSUME.”