New Electricity Tariff Capable Of Destroying Nigeria’s Economy – NLC

There are several unfavorable aspects to the increase in electricity prices.

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), in Kebbi State says the increase in electricity tariff by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), is “capable of destroying the economic prosperity of the nation”.

The state Chairman of the NLC, Alhaji Murtala Usman stated this when leadership of the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) picketed the offices of the Kaduna Electric Distribution Company (KAEDCO), and the NERC in Birnin Kebbi on Monday.

According to him, the increase in electricity tariff has negative dimensions multiple times.

“Manufacturers will increase prices of goods, transport fares will skyrocket, welders and other end users of electricity will be thrown out of business while many Nigerians will languish in darkness because of inability to pay the increase,” he warned.

Usman said that there was no nation in the world which did not subsidize electricity and petrol, adding that,” Nigeria is an oil producing country and is not an importer of electricity, we generate power domestically.

“God has endowed us with these resources in abundance, these are the rights of the citizens.”

He reminded the government that petrol and electricity were being generated by public funds and must be accessible to the citizenry cheaply and comfortably.

On the issue of proposed minimum wage of N615, 000, Usman, said the NLC and TUC considered many variables before arriving at the figure in view of the hyper-inflation in the country.

“We are here to peacefully picket the offices of KAEDCO and NERC for few hours to send signal to the government and the authorities concerned to rescind the decision after which the organised labour would chart the next course of action,” the chairman said.

Rising electricity costs are having far-reaching implications on more than just one home. Businesses are most affected by these increases, particularly small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). Since energy is a necessary component of almost every business, higher rates raise production costs, reduce profit margins, and make a company less competitive. This inhibiting effect on investment and business expansion undercuts attempts to create jobs and hinders economic diversity, so extending a vicious cycle of underdevelopment and stagnation.

Given the current state of Nigeria’s unstable economy, the timing of this tariff rise could not be more dangerous. The COVID-19 pandemic has left the country reeling from its devastating effects on public health and the economy. Millions of people are struggling with unemployment, declining earnings, and increased vulnerability as a result of the pandemic-caused recession. The decision to increase energy rates seems out of touch with the realities that ordinary Nigerians and businesses fighting to survive must face in these trying times.

To lessen the impact on disadvantaged groups in society, any move to modify electricity rates must be supported by strong social safety nets. This covers attempts to increase access to cost-effective and sustainable energy alternatives as well as programs for income support and tailored subsidies. Nigeria can effectively navigate the obstacles presented by rising energy tariffs and chart a course towards a more affluent and equitable future by placing a high priority on the welfare of its population and creating an environment that supports economic growth and development.

There are many reasons to be concerned about how the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s recent hike in electricity rates would affect the country’s economy. Given the catastrophic repercussions that the Nigerian Labour Congress has warned of, it is obvious that this matter requires immediate attention and quick action. Nigeria can lessen the negative consequences of growing energy prices and create the conditions for long-term economic growth by resolving the underlying structural flaws in the power industry, putting reasonable regulatory measures in place, and giving social welfare top priority.

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