• Business - Companies
  • Updated: April 15, 2024

Tariff hike: 20-hour power supply not feasible - Electricity union

Tariff hike: 20-hour power supply not feasible - Electricity

National Union of Electricity Employees has said supply of 20 hours of electricity is not feasible with the current infrastructure.

Adebiyi Adeyeye, the National President of the union, made this known during an interview with Punch on Sunday.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission had on April 3 raised the electricity tariff for customers enjoying 20 hours of power supply daily.

Customers in this category were said to be under the Band A classification and the increase raised their tariff to N225 per kilowatt-hour, from N66KWh.

In its earlier reaction, the union had warned the government to reverse the tariff hike saying, “If the government fails to address the crippling cost of electricity, NUEE will not hesitate to take strong action, including the swift withdrawal of our members expected to be used by DisCos to impose the tariff hike on the good people, to protect the livelihood of our members.”

"We just want the citizen to know that this thing is not possible, it is not feasible, you cannot give what you don’t have. When we don’t have the energy to give to the people and you ask our people to go out and collect such money, you know it is dangerous. Most times we don’t disclose what to do to the public because our sector is very critical to the nation,” he stated.

While saying that the union has yet to give any ultimatum on strike, he stressed the NUEE is advising the government to do the needful “before we will withdraw our services”.

He explained, “The reason why we are saying this is simple, you ask our members to go the the public to collect 20-hour tariff from people that are not even experiencing a four-hour supply of electricity. There is no way there won’t be crises between our staff and those customers.

“We’ve recorded a lot of attacks on our members, even with the present situation. And these guys have nothing to defend themselves. They have targets to meet where there is no supply. Our members are being threatened by the DisCos, even when they know that what they are promising Nigerians is not feasible”.

He disclosed that the union must save its members from daily attacks, saying the hike would aggravate the attacks.

“We told our members that they cannot go out and collect that kind of tariff from unmetered customers. More than 70 per cent of these Band A customers are not metered. The government is just promising what we don’t have. We are the ones working there, we know we don’t have the transformers to distribute such load. 20 hours of electricity is not possible except for those on eligible lines. We were not carried before the tariff hike,” the union leader emphasised.

Adeyeye, who said the union would not accept any threat from anyone said, “On the issue of strike, it is not what we normally do directly. We said it that we would withdraw our services if the government fails to do the needful, and we are still under that ‘if’. They still have time to do the needful. It is very difficult for us to collect such money. We don’t have the equipment to supply even 10 hours of electricity to the people.

"We stand on our point, and they can’t bring people from anywhere to come and do this work. We Nigerians will do this work ourselves and heaven will not fall. If they fail to do the needful, we will withdraw our members, and we will never accept any threat from anybody. Nigeria belongs to all of us”.

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