Nigeria labour unions set for street protests over new electricity tariffs

NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba
NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba

The Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, and civil society allies say they will hold a protest on Monday against the 45 per cent increase in electricity tariffs announced by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission.

The protest will hold Monday, February 8, in Abuja and across the nation, the labour groups announced in a statement Thursday.

“It is a nation-wide protest, meaning that the 36 states of the Federation including Abuja will be involved in this action,” the statement signed by Ayuba Wabba, the NLC president, said.

“Our members have been sufficiently mobilized and are ready to go. If you are an electricity consumer and you are not happy with the bills electricity companies serve you every month, you are invited to join this protest rally.”

He said the Abuja rally will start at Labour House, Central Business District at 8.00am before moving to the NERC head office at Adamawa Plaza, Plot 1099, First Avenue, Off Shehu Shagari Way, Central Business District. From the NERC office, the rally will roll to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company at Zone 4. The rally will mobilise from there to the National Assembly.

The labour groups said the protest rally became necessary after all effort to make NERC shelve the idea of increase failed.

“Indeed, rather than see reason with Nigerians, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing has been advancing spurious argument in justification.”

Part of the statement reads:

The reasons for this protest are obvious and include the following:

· The due process in the extant laws for such increment was not followed in consonance with section 76 of the Power Sector Reform Act, 2005;

· There has been no significant improvement in service delivery. Moreover, the fact is that most consumers are not metered in accordance with the signed privatization Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of November 1, 2013, which stipulates that within 18 months gestation period, all consumers are to be metered;

· There is a subsisting Court Order dated 28th May, 2015 by Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, in the case of Toluwani Yemi-Adebiyi versus NERC & Orders, that there shall be no further increment until the determination of the substantive suit.

· The increment at this time negates the present biting and prevailing economic recession vis-a-vis an attempt to further impoverish the poor masses.

We stakeholders, on Increment in Electricity Tariff (a broad coalition) met in Lagos on January 28, 2016 and issued a communiqué demanding an “immediate halt of this morbid and exploitative intention” failure of which would lead to:

· Mobilization of all Nigerians to resist the new tariff;

· Mass protests/picketing of all DISCOs’ offices across the country;

· Directing all consumers to reject any bill with the new tariff and other actions necessary.

Earlier, Nigerians had spontaneously moved to the streets in Lagos, Benin, Kano and other cities when NERC announced this increase in the last quarter of 2015.

At the level of the Congress, we had issued a communiqué on December 22, 2015 rejecting this tariff hike and demanding that pre-paid metres be made available free to all consumers.

We noted that Distribution Companies “have continued to exploit Nigerians by estimated billing system for the majority of consumers, while deliberately refusing to make available prepaid metres.

We also said the challenges in the economy which have adversely reduced the purchasing power of ordinary Nigerians and slowed down businesses including manufacturing have made this increase unsustainable and unjustifiable.

We reached out to core government constituencies including the Minister of Power, the leadership of the National Assembly and NERC, all in an effort to find an amicable resolution through the quality of the logic of argument and practical realities on ground which include the incontrovertible fact that even before this increment, Nigeria paid the highest tariff per kilo-watt in Africa and contiguous regions. We pay much higher than Egypt and countries with stronger economies.

With the increment, this disparity will not only be substantial, it will kill Nigerians and businesses. The saddest part of it all is that there is no co-relation between the quality of service delivery and this tariff.

The implementation of this tariff is an act of lawlessness because there is a subsisting restraining court order on further increases. And yet we are in a democracy.

The point must also be made that the immediate past government in its twilight approved a whoppingN18.26 billion for these companies in order to boost electricity supply. Yet there is nothing to show for it. A privatised sector that continues to parasite on government with insignificant benefit to Nigerians is at best a leech on our economy and should be interrogated.

We would want to make the point that this tariff increase is only intended to protect the investment of a select few and not to serve the interest of other Nigerians. In light of all of the above, this increase is illegal, unfair, unjustifiable and a further exploitation of the already exploited Nigerians.

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  • Jika

    These guys are just a bunch of charlatans.

    • filipiandre


      No, no, no! Nigeria Labour Congress [NLC] is very right on this NEPA matter. Wild strikes must take place!
      We are tired of this mess! Do you know the rate of household debts in Nigeria today? Nigerians are owing
      on rents, owing on food supplies, owing on school fees, owing on motor-vehicles. You now double NEPA –
      without salary increase but retrenchment, after you have removed fuel subsidy. Haba! This is wickedness!

      • Iskacountryman

        stop using nepa…buy lantern…

        • okun

          Don’t mind him. Is it by force he must use electricity? He can use bush lantern.

          The only thing is that after putting kerosene inside his bush lantern he must then

          continue to say: APC CHANGE…APC, SAI BABA…. APC, ILLITERACY FOREVER!

      • favourtalk

        Some of you still think it is the government that owns the power sector, it is not. We need electricity to work and the best way is for all to play thier part

  • ubupikin

    Dear Editor,

    I want to beg all the Mujahedeens of Premium Times to help us tell all
    Nigerians. We are suffocating in heat in Lagos state. No light to do our
    business for two days running. No light to sleep well too. I am hearing that
    President Buhari wants to collect tax from us to pay for budget? Where will he
    get the tax when we cannot do any business without electricity? See even NNPC
    saying it is so bad it posted loss of 260 billion Naira last year. If NNPC is
    posting loss who can post profit in this condition? Only someone like this Jide
    Omokore you are talking about can post profit because he was trading with the
    country’s money at no interest or tax. Are we all to start stealing too, since stealing
    is the only way to survive the nonsense economics Jonathan left behind? Now
    they have increased electricity tariff for no light supplied at all. I am saying it.
    I’m saying my own now. One day blood will flow in Nigeria. The people can’t take
    this nonsense further than this. I am telling you. You can’t put people in
    impossible condition and expect peace. There can’t be peace O!

    • Redirecto


    • Iskacountryman

      shut up your dirty mouth…if light is not supplied…then dont pay…what would you be losing?…

      • Netanyahu

        I thought you stopped this your idiotic postings in 2015. You must be one of these almajiri products of jihadist parents raised in IDP camps in Niger republic.

        • Iskacountryman

          okay come slap me…but go buy lantern…monkey head…he wan nepa and im no wan pay…

  • New Nigerian

    NLC is leaving out leprosy and treating mosquito bite!

    Today we learnt that Nigerian debt profile is $65.4 billion! according to Debt Management Office figures released today…
    NLC should be holding rallies for the speedy passage of the anti money
    laudery bill and the passage of the budget by the national assembly so
    that recovery of stolen billions in commonwealth can be speedily arrived
    at, leading to reduction of the debt profile and putting recoverred
    money to work for Nigerians.

    Some sobering facts:

    Obasanjo got debt of
    $18 billion forgiven vs Jonathan working hand-in-glove with the
    national assembly stole $20billion in one go!…You can say anything
    about Obasanjo, you’d have to agree that he is one of the two most
    patriotic Nigerian (by example) alive today, the other is President

    Some figures (Courtesy Naira Land and you
    can see the official links of published data at their website) with
    latest figures on debt profile just released by DMC …NIgeria now owes
    $65.4billion! –


    Inherited: $30 billion
    Cleared : $18 billion (He used his immense profile to broker debt forgiveness – a world record)
    Paid: $ 12 billion Dollars
    Left: $3,348.22bn-2007

    Inherited: $3.7 billion (1999)
    Left: $45.0 billion (2007)

    NB: As at 2003, Oil Price Per Barrel was $30 and it was at $90 when he left.

    2. UMARU MUSA YAR ADUA (2007 – 2009)

    Inherited: $3,348.22 billion

    Left: $3.94 billion Dollars

    Inherited: $45.0 billion
    Grew To: $63 billion in September, 2008
    Left : $47. 7 billion (As at Dec 31st 2009 when Jonathan took over as “Overseer” )

    The reserve grew when the price of Crude Oil was $147 per barrel
    It Slided in Mid 2008 during the recession, when the crude price fell to $35 per barrel in 2009, till his death

    Inherited: $3.94 billion Dollars
    As At Now: $65.4 billion Dollars (latest figures release today by DMC)

    Inherited: $47. 7 billion (As At December 31st, 2009)
    Left it at: $38.2BILLION

  • trutometer

    where were they all this while, until when is already implemented.

  • xcxc333


    Raji Fashola is empty-headed and dull

    Raji Fashola is a dunce who does not know how to think. This is how he plundered and ruined Lagos.
    Under him, and till he left, Lagos was classified by Global Economists as the third worst city in the world.
    Before he was inflicted on the unthinking Lagosians by Bola Tinubu, Lagos was rated 5th worst globally.
    Raji Fashola thus spent eight years in ignorance, worsening Lagos; and plundering the lands and cash.

    If Fashola had functional education he’d know that higher tariffs have no correlation to electricity supply.
    Nigeria’s transmission plants and lines are so outdated they can’t carry 5,000 megawatts, if ever generated.
    Raji Fashola is like the proverbial monkey which looks acrobatic because trees are lined close to one other.
    Were a thoroughly honest person the president of Nigeria, Raji Fashola will be in EFCC jail – not in cabinet.

    • ??????????


    • Basketmouth

      Since you know so much and you are a genius both in public and business management, may be you should go and take over the power ministry from him. The problem with Nigerian workers and public in general is that we have been subsidized on almost everything to the extent that the government should provide everything for free. If we want efficient management of our infrastructure we must remove the hand of the government as much as possible. I think the question the NLC should be asking is how much it cost to produce a KW/hour of electricity. You just don’t go out protesting because you want the government to subsidize your electricity bill. We need to get real.

  • 1nigeria

    This NLC people are bunch of Jokers. where are they in the last 2 to 3 yrs when Don Fortunato and his gangs of looters were plundering the economy of this country to the extents that things got so bad at this stage. For sure, increments in electricity tariff at this time of the economy is not only unfair but criminal. It is only in Nigeria that govt will privatize and still be given/spending money on the sector. After Don Fortunato privatize the sector, he was still given money to the owners, no wonder they contributed over N4billions for his re-election and fail woefully. now they want us to start paying for their failures.

  • Burning Spear


    Sen Ben Murray Bruce.

    First President Buhari called the judiciary a “headache”, now his party chairman threatens them with investigation. Are we safe like this?

    Where is the doctrine of Separation of Powers? Where is the Rule of Law? If Supreme Court Justices can be threatened with anti corruption investigation for not bowing to the party in power, what are we then to make of the war on corruption? – Sen Ben Murray Bruce

  • Burning Spear

    Every single idea that Jonathan initiated to enable him and his economic team, move the Nation forward, were seriously thwarted by the Fulanis and Yorubas–ati the left-over Apes in APC–who strayed into the Jihadist Buhari party, for want of betters things to do with their regional brains-Now Buhari is going through the backyard to introduce the same ideas that Jonathan wanted to emabrk upon for the good of the country. Such as the removal of subsidies on fuel-Buhari says Oil does not belong to the Niger Delta People. Fine what about the Gas—God so blessed the people of the South south so much-that-they became confused and sold their birth-rights to the Fulanis ati Yorubas-for a penny—-Tribalism abi? Buhari has not done a single thing to improve the lot of the common–man—He is just busy stealing more than Abacha did and covering his dirty thieving tracks, by attempting to sex up the budget proposals that he organized with crooks in his party to steal at night-Yet the paid agents of the Apes in APC, we call the Buharimice–are being settled by Tinubus REMITA, to post comments in praise of Buhari here for Nigerians-to swallow in the name of the USA sponsored Change-which the Yankees relied on to impose Buhari on us–What a shame–what a country—–let my people go–now that crude oil is being sold at 5 cents per barrels–animals

  • Iskacountryman

    stop using the product if you cannot afford it…

  • sammyctu ode

    Let all these NLC and corrupt always sleeping labor unions go and burn in hell Where were they in d last sixteen years when pdp was looting d country with impunity, where were they when d NA were looting us blindly, where were they when Jonathan was looting the CBN NNPC and other high yielding income MDAs?. What they should do is to go and occupy d NA and all d governors mansions so that all d states can pay d minimum wage.

  • Omotolaaraujo

    In other words: Don’t pay, it’s illegal anyways.

  • Analyst

    Just few month of becoming a minister, the only gift the lagos boy has for Nigeria is increase by 45%….is only in my country you hear this kind of increase. Oil is cheaper everywhere you go. You can full your tank with few dollars but my country men pay more. The more the pay the more they laugh and clap for the dictator in power.

    • favourtalk

      Some of you just want everything in life for free, maybe you should stay in the street and beg for food also

      • Analyst

        I can see this is going to favour you or your dad.

  • favourtalk

    Some of this Union are jobless and just want to talk anytime it suit them. They didn’t talk when GEJ wanted to destroy this nation but now tat we wants to get electricity right, they are shouting lie a confused lad. Electricity must work and the best is that, everyone must do it part. It is no more government that owns the power sector but a private entity now

  • danoma

    Three hours ON and Three hours OFF Electricity Tariffs! That is, if you are lucky to get supply at all. One of the problem is the Centralization of everything in Nigeria. A situation where if there is fault with SHIRORO DAM in far away Niger State, there will be power failure in Calaba, Benin City, Warri etc, etc!! The process of getting Electricity to your home is first to Generate (GENCO), then Transmit (TRANSCO) and finally to Distribute (DISCO). The public deals directly with the DISCO who has no control over Generated Power or Transmitted Power! The system is all so complex that you really need Professional Engineers at the helm of affairs up to and including the Minister of Power for the entire system to work properly. We should be talking about modular system of Power supply in each State of the Federation. That world “Autonomy” that politicians do not like to hear for selfish reasons is what we want. An Engineer and not a Lawyer is what Nigeria needs as Minister of Power. Thanks.

  • Prof Pat Mumuwole Onajite

    I hear the NLC and other labour Unions in Britain’s Nigeria are planning to go on strike. How mumuish Nigerians are. Now I have no doubts that our mumudity is irreversible. Which should have necessitated strike actions and/or protests? –
    (1) Increase in electricity tariffs OR
    (2) The continued receipt of over $1.7m pa as emoluments for Senators of the ‘Federal’ Republic?

    …and guess what? Even these miscreants who earn the afore mentioned Salaries don’t pay electricity tariffs. The state pays with our taxes. This is why I know that indeed we are all part of the 2oo Million Mumus that make up Nigeria. The Labour Unions are complete Mumus. Irredeemable Mumus. Doomed Mumus. Senseless Mumus. Zooooooooooooooooooombeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees. Edeorts!
    This is why a confederation ot outright break up is still the best solution for a continent like Nigeria.