THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has told the Federal Government to stop killing Nigerians and the economy through incessant increase in the price of electricity tariff.

The congress, in a statement by its President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, was reacting to the recent hike of electricity tariff on July 1, from N206.80 to N209.5 for band A customers.

The statement read: “The hike in tariff by DisCos from N206.80 to N209.5 (with effect from July 1) for the so-called band A customers represents the height of impunity and arrogance and will certainly put more companies out of business as well as create more difficulties for consumers.

“This increment has come on the heels of unresolved disputes around the insane 250 percent hike in tariff, leading to national paralysis including the shutting down of 300 businesses as per MAN (Manufacturing Association of Nigeria).

The 250 percent hike drew the ire of the citizens and rage of organised labour whose members went on a one-day protest for its unreasonableness and violation of extant rules of tariff hike.

“We had demanded a reversal. The only reason that action was paused was a firm assurance from relevant quarters, including the National Assembly, that the matter would be dealt with quietly.

“That there is another hike instead of a reversal (as promised) is further proof of the insincerity of the government just as it is equally a measure of government’s insensitivity. We have no doubt that this frequent crass display of insincerity and insensitivity will pit the people against the government or vice versa.

“The three excuses given by DisCos – exchange rate, interest rate and cost of gas – as justification for this increase underscore our argument that government and entities in the energy sector are not serious about finding an enduring solution to our energy crisis. For, clearly, they are treating the symptoms.

“Given the further damage this latest wave of increase will do to our economy, we demand an immediate reversal of the hike. It is unjustifiable, unreasonable and malevolent. Government and DisCos should stop killing the people and the economy.”

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by Christian Appolos