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NLC slams NERC over tariff increase

11 June 2014, 11:09

Abuja - The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to ensure improved electricity in the country before contemplating any increase in tariff.

The NLC President, Abdulwaheed Omar, made this known at a stakeholders meeting organised by NERC in Abuja on Tuesday.
Omar, who decried the recent increase in electricity tariff by NERC, criticised the commission for not consulting with consumers and stakeholders like NLC before announcing the increment.

The commission had announced a marginal increase of about one naira in energy charge for consumers while it retained N750 monthly fixed charge with effect from June 1.

It said the increment was due to what it described as high distribution cost over a low energy generation capacity.

Omar, however, insisted that NLC and other stakeholders ought to have been called to a round table on the issue before the announcement and not after the announcement was made.

“It is not very good to have this kind of arrangement where the interaction is after the deed has been done.

"It is better you do all the consultations so that people are better informed about what they expect and why you are doing what you are doing,’’ he said.

Omar stressed the need for improved power supply before any tariff was increased so that Nigerians are not made to suffer double jeopardy.

"The rate of tariff increase is quite worrisome and there is no proportionate increase in electricity supply.

"The amount of consumption should determine the rate paid by consumers, what Nigerian consumers expect is an improvement in power supply, but what they get in return is a hike on electricity tariff,” he said.

Earlier, NERC Chairman, Dr Sam Amadi, said the commission had to organise the stakeholders meeting to get the right feedback for all stakeholders.

Amadi said NERC did a lot of consultations with stakeholders such as the CBN, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on the macroeconomics before the reviewed tariff was announced.

"The kind of feedback you are giving us now is the reason we want to hear from you.

On activities of DISCOs and Generation Companies, Amadi said in the privatised market, all companies were properly regulated.
He, therefore, solicited for better partnership with civil society organisations and the labour union.

-    NAN

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