The Trade Union Congress has expressed its opposition to the plan to increase electricity tariff.
The TUC said this in reaction to the planned increase in electricity tariff by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.
NERC had said the decision to hike electricity tariff was taken after consultation with other stakeholders in the power sector.
But in a statement on Friday by its President, Comrade Quadri A. Olaleye, and Secretary General, Musa-Lawal Ozigi, the TUC said it will oppose Nigerians paying more for darkness.
The statement said: “The Trade Union Congress (TUC) will not support any hike in electricity tariff, when Nigerians rarely have power in their houses and factories are closing shop and fleeing to neighboring countries. Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) should not encourage inefficiency by approving higher tariff because the DisCos do not collect the billed revenue for the current tariff. There is very low collection efficiency in the system.
“The argument that the increment in tariff will help to improve power supply holds no water. For decades now we have been paying for services not rendered which to us is a broad day robbery. Increase in tariff means passing the low efficiency loss to the customers. If collection efficiency is high enough, it will help reduce the gap in cost of delivery electricity and reduce need for higher tariff.
“Why should the Federal Government release another intervention of N600bn to operators? What did they do with the first two bailouts of N213bn and N701bn released to support power distribution, generation and gas companies?
“We have issue with government making all these serious interventions without significant progress. Is it not shameful that Nigeria with over two hundred million population cannot boast of 6,000MW consistently for one week at a time that South Africa with a little over 50 million population is generating over 50,000MW?
“The truth is the power sector; nay Nigerians have not had peace or recorded any significant progress since November 2013 when the sector was privatised. Government cannot continue to enrich some cabals in the name of privatisation. They cannot continue to use the taxpayers money to fund a major sector like power yet businesses are collapsing. Operators have given us room to suspect them, and nothing is going to change the mind set until we begin to get value for our money. The privatisation process must be reviewed for the sake of our comfort and to save the few existing companies in the country.”