The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged that the Federal Government put a halt to the proposed hike in energy tariffs, which would take effect on July 1, 2023.
NLC President Joe Ajaero issued a statement on June 22 expressing his strong objection to the idea, calling the 40% tariff hike inconsiderate and inhumane.
According to the NLC, the increase displays a disdain for customers’ well-being, particularly those in precarious economic positions.
The message cites particular data, such as an increase in inflation from 16.9% to 22.41% and a change in the currency rate from N441 to N750.
However, the NLC contends that even these facts are insufficient to justify the planned rate rise, arguing that affordability and service quality should take precedence over market reasoning.
Additionally, the NLC raises concerns about covert tariff increases without prior notice, which violates regulations and poses a risk as it suggests a lack of control, potentially burdening consumers with new rates as early as August.
Furthermore, the NLC warns that as other entities adjust their prices or rates, ordinary Nigerians will bear the brunt of these cumulative financial pressures, ultimately causing severe hardships.
According to the NLC statement, Nigeria is turning out to be a place where everyone is out for himself and consideration for others is lacking.
The NLC raised concerns about the many other costs and tariffs that Nigerians must cope with. A part of the statement read:
- “With the contemplation of payment of school fees in tertiary institutions and increases in privately-owned ones in addition to other costs/tariffs on the way, life in Nigeria could truly be Hobbesian. The market economies which the market fundamentalists seek to emulate have in place socio-economic safeguards which we do not have.
- “In light of this, our advice is that this proposed tariff hike should be shelved for our collective safety.”