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Workers denied entry as labour unions picket NERC offices over tariff hike


Members of the organised labour have started picketing offices of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and distribution companies (DisCos) nationwide over the hike in electricity tariff.

The action of the workers follows a joint directive from the leadership of both the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) at weekend to their members to picket these offices in protests of the tariff hike.

The unions, in a joint statement by NLC’s Ag. General Secretary Chris Uyot and his TUC counterpart Anka Hassan, said, “We write to inform you of the picketing action scheduled to take place in the offices of the NERC and Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOS) in all states, including the FCT,”

“The action will jointly take place on Monday, 13th of May, 2024 nationwide simultaneously. Therefore, the two Labour centres are directed to work together to carry out this important action. While counting on your usual cooperation, kindly accept the assurances of our goodwill and highest regards.”

As early as 7AM on Monday, members of the labour unions blocked the main gate of the distribution company located in the Kaduna State capital amidst tight security.

Staff of the company were prevented from going into the premises as the protesting union members demand for the reversal of the tariff hike.

In Kwara State, the union members blocked the entrance of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company in the state capital Ilorin.

Led by the state chairman of the NLC, gate of the company was locked, and the staff were prevented from gaining access into their offices as early as eight 8AM on Monday morning.

The chairman of the NLC, Saheed Olayinka, said the hike in tariff has been having negative effects on the populace and asked the Federal Government to reverse it.

The picketing, he added, will continue until the demands of the reversal is met.

The union members, who were carrying placards with different inscriptions and singing solidarity songs, stationed themselves around the premises while the workers of the DisCo sat patiently awaiting further directive.

Similarly, in Akure, the Ondo State capital, some members of the TUC shut the head office of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC). They gathered at the front of the company’s office protesting the electricity tariff hike.

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