By Victor Ahiuma-Young
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, has expressed disappointment over the latest hike in electricity tariff, describing is as a betrayal of trust.
TUC, in a statement by its President and Secretary-General, Quadri Olaleye, and Musa-Lawal Ozigi, respectively, said: “We are disappointed by the recent hike in electricity tariff, while negotiations were ongoing with the Organised Labour on the last hike because of the untold hardship it has brought on the workers and Nigerians as a whole.
“Sometimes we wonder why this government espouses unfriendly policies that are capable of crippling the economy.
“There are many companies that have either closed shops or relocated to neighbouring countries because they cannot afford to pay the last tariff hike, yet this government has done another one.
“Does it mean there is no other way this government can creatively generate revenue?
“It has become obvious that the outrages from the Organised Labour and the masses, and the series of negotiations we had with the government were just cosmetic and hypocritical
“There is so much deceit and laziness in the system. There is hardly any promise made that they have followed through.
“Only yesterday we read again that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, is withdrawing its members because this same government has reneged on its promises reached a few days ago.
“How can the government go ahead to increase tariff again when we have not resolved the one done earlier? This is preposterous, ridiculous and sheer wickedness.
“We have been labelled what we are not because we want a peaceful industrial atmosphere. The economy was struggling before the outbreak of the pandemic and we thought it was wise not to worsen our situation.
“The sacrifice means nothing to these people, who force us to tighten our belt while they loosen theirs. Darkness enhances criminal activities and now they have chosen to keep us in darkness thinking their high fences will save them.
“We call on the government to be responsible for once. Nigerians will like to know what we gained from border closures.
“Insecurity did not stop; neither did it stop the smuggling of rice and others. You don’t just churn out policies without weighing the pros and cons.
“How many people can afford to pay the last bill, talk less of this recent one? The Organised Labour should not be pushed to the wall because it will actually do all no good.
“Government must revert to the old price or be willing to accept the outcome of this decision. This is a betrayal of trust and it is unfortunate.”
There was a national outcry, on Tuesday, when a 50% increase in electricity tariff was announced. The Federal Government denied the report.
However, NERC, later admitted that there was an increase of 4%.