By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) in Osun State have shut the Osogbo business hub of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) over the hike in electricity tariff.
The protesters joined other labour unions in the country in line with the directive of their national body to protest what they described as ‘epileptic’ electricity power supply and the increment in tariff.
Osun Defender correspondent gathered that the aggrieved protesters disallowed customers from being attended to.
The protesters who were joined by students, carried placards with various inscriptions which include; “Nigerians cannot be paying more for epileptic power supply”, “No to unlawful and willful hike in electricity tariff”, “Osun state NLC says no to 45% increase in electricity tariff”, and “DISCOS, don’t increase the burden of Nigerians”, among others.
Addressing journalists, State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Jacob Adekomi, decried the “45 per cent increase” in the electricity tariff as announced by the National Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC.
Adekomi further stressed that due process in the extant laws for such increment was not followed in consonance with section 76 of the Power Sector Reform Act, 2005.
He said there has been no significant improvement in service delivery.
Adekomi also submitted that it was unfortunate that the DISCOS did not honour an agreement signed in 2013 on the provision of metre to every building.
The NLC Chairman described the 45% tariff increment as ‘inhuman’ despite unstable electricity being experienced in the country.
Comrade Adekomi appealed to the DISCOS to see reasons to do the wish of the masses by ensuring that the status quo remain on the electricity tariff.
Echoing a similar view, the State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress, Comrade Akinyemi Olatunji, said the DISCOS had no power to increase electricity tariff since there is a suit on the matter which has been pending in court since May 2015.
Adetunji added that the union would continuously picket the Distribution Company to resist any further attempt to increase hardship on Nigerian masses.