By ANDREW OJIEZEL
Labour called for the removal of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola for violating the court order, which had restraint the hike in tariff until the court case was over.
Some leaders of civil society, called for the removal of the Minister of Power, Housing and Works for contempt of court, saying “Nigeria cannot be an animal kingdom where there is no order, for Babatunde Fashola, being a SAN to disobey court order, means he is playing with jail and is not fit to be a minister, he should be removed with immediate effect for being a SAN and making mockery of court judgment.”
Speaking at the Ikeja premises, the Vice President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Amaechi Asugwuni, blamed Federal Government over its lip-service intervention whereby government who ordinarily should play moderating role by ensuring that interests of consumers are protected from service providers, has thrown its weight behind the exploitation of the masses.
Asugwuni, who also is the President General of the National Union, stressed that the picketing would remain in place if government fails to review downward the hike.
“We have been watching to see how Federal Government would play a more useful role in saving consumers from the current situation whereby people are being made to pay for what they did not consume. The law says consumers must be given prepaid metres, within 18 months of privatization, but here we are today, no such prepaid metres two years after r. It is criminal and inhuman for them to sit down in office and give estimated bills. We are tired of paying for darkness, until there is reversal, we are going remain here.”
In the same vein, the General Secretary, National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Comrade Issa Aremu has laid the support of the union towards the picketing.
According to Aremu, “NUTGTWN commends the leadership of NLC for this mass the mass action against unilateral and unlawful hike of electricity tariff. What we need is improved power not hike in tariff in non-service charges.
“The Textile union instead calls for improvement in power supply. The point cannot be overstated. between 30 per cent and 35 per cent of textile and garment manufacturing costs are energy related expenses. Without electrification, there can be no industrialization. The promise and expectation that President Muhammadu Buhari will revive textile industry generally is not possible without electricity. It is time for Buhari administration to critically review the power sector reform with a view of increasing public sector investment.”