Tariff Hike: Don’t derail FG’s reform plan, Power Minister tells Labour

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The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, says any reversal in the hike of electricity tariff for Band A customers in the country will derail the reform agenda of the President Bola Tinubu administration for the power sector. Adelabu spoke on Tuesday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Aso Villa in Abuja.

His comments followed the nationwide picketing of the offices of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and distribution companies by the Organised Labour on Monday. On April 3, 2024, NERC raised electricity tariff for customers enjoying 20 hours power supply daily. Customers in this category are said to be under the Band A classification. The increase saw the customers paying N225 kilowatt per hour from the current N66, a development that has been heavily criticised by many Nigerians, considering the immediacy of the tariff hike and the current hardship in the land.

Following the outrage, NERC asked discos to cut down electricity tariff rate by 8.1% for customers under Band A category. The outrage, however, persisted with many Nigerians rejecting the reduction and demanding a total reversal of the tariff hike. The NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) subsequently picketed NERC offices and discos on Monday to press home their demands. When asked to respond to the position of the Organised Labour, the power minister said, “The first question was about the recent Labour unions’ peaceful protest with regards to the recently increased tariffs for Band A customers in Nigeria’s electricity supply industry. Let me first make it abundantly clear that we are in democracy so there are fundamental human rights. I cannot deny people their rights.

“It’s the right of the Labour to protest peacefully and to come up with their demands, from the perspective they saw what we did. It is clearly allowed, it is legitimate and it is understandable. So we cannot stop them from organising a peaceful protest or laying down their demands. Let me make that clear. President Bola Tinubu’s administration is also a listening government.

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