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Electricity Union Threatens Power Outage Across Nigeria In Protest Of Tariff Hike

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Nigerians are on the brink of facing a widespread power outage as the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) stands firm on its decision to withdraw services unless the Federal government reverses the recently approved electricity tariff hike.

According to Dominic Igwebike, the acting General Secretary of NUEE, failure by the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, to address the tariff hike reversal could prompt decisive action from its members.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) sanctioned the tariff hike on April 3, particularly impacting Band A customers who receive 20 hours of power supply daily. Under the new tariff, Band A customers are now charged N225 per kilowatt-hour, a significant increase from N68/kWh.

Joined by the Nigerian Labour Congress, Trade Unions Congress, and others, NUEE vehemently opposed the tariff hike, citing its impracticality amidst the country’s economic challenges and low electricity access rate of approximately 55 per cent.

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In a statement, NUEE stressed that the hike undermines Nigeria’s economic growth and well-being, calling for its immediate withdrawal.

Igwebike highlighted the impossibility of providing 20 hours of electricity supply and the danger of demanding increased tariffs without sufficient energy provision.

Responding to the escalating tensions, the Minister of Power, represented by his media aide Bolaji Tunji, appealed to the labour union for understanding, assuring that government initiatives aim to enhance Nigeria’s power supply and ultimately benefit citizens.

“We want to appeal to the labour union to understand what led to this. This is not about strike. It is about understanding so that we can all work together.

“It is not anybody’s joy that there are blackouts all the time. These steps are being taken to solve the problems in the power sector. I beg the labour union to understand that this will galvanise the economy and create jobs.

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“I want to appeal to the union to bear with us. It is for the good of the nation,” he stated.

Meanwhile, since the tariff hike implementation, nationwide power supply has dwindled, exacerbating the frustrations of electricity consumers across the country.

Chioma Kalu

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