THE Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has condemned the recent comment of the Minister of Power, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on the plans by the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to increase electricity tariff.
The minister’s argument that an Act of the National Assembly actually empowers the Commission to increase tariff and that the Act cannot be tampered with even by the federal parliament, is certainly very lame, too simplistic and misleading.
In a statement the President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama and the Secretary General, Comrade (Barr) Musa Lawal, stressed that “While we agree that the cost of procuring raw materials to generate electricity could be high, does it make any economic sense that the poor barber who still finds himself having to fuel his small generator even at the current high rate should be made to pay more for a service whose supply is very irregular and uncertain?
“With the benefit of hindsight it has become evident that the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was a well-crafted ploy to deceive Nigerians into believing that it would address their pains. In summary, we vehemently oppose the proposed tariff hike for the following reasons, the planned increment is dictatorial.
Due process stipulated in extant laws for such increment was not observed. We refer especially to Section 76 of the Power Sector Reform Act 2005.
“There has been no significant improvement in service delivery. Worse still the vast majority of consumers are yet to be metered in accordance with the signed privatisation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of 1st November, 2013 which stipulated that all consumers should be metered within 18 months gestation period.”