The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and our colleagues in the Trade Union Congress wish to express our profound appreciation and gratitude to Nigerian workers and people for coming out en mass across the country on the nationwide protest rally we called to voice our opposition to the 45% increase in electricity tariff which came into effect on February 1,2016.
We wish to, in particular, commend our civil society allies who stood firmly with organised labour through the planning and execution of the February 8th rally. We thank Nigerians from all walks of life who saw the wisdom of our action and identified with the campaign.
Since the nationwide rally, the leadership of organised labour and our colleagues in civil society have been meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly, with the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, being present to underscore the importance they attach to this issue which affects every household in
We are also having a meeting with the Federal Government under the Chairmanship of the
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, Minister of Labour and Employment Senator Chris Ngige with a view to annulling the 45% tariff increase.
We wish to assure all Nigerians that we are focused on the main objective of our campaign to ensure that the tariff increase does not stand.
As we have argued in the course of the rally, we maintain that Nigerians should not be compelled to pay more for darkness, against the background of the flagrant disregard of the terms on which the distribution companies (DISCOs) and generation companies (GENCOs) were awarded our common patrimony in the name of privatisation. These companies have failed, for instance, to provide prepaid metres as stipulated in the terms of their contract. They
have instead continued to violate this special clause by charging and forcing consumers to pay the arbitrary tariffs they have imposed, even as they fail most of the time to provide them the required electricity.
Imo Workers and People Too …
The leadership of both NLC and TUC also wish to express appreciation to all affiliate industrial unions for mobilising their members to turn out in massive numbers for our action of closing down government and commercial activities in Owerri, the lmo State capital on February 10, 2016 to press home our demands for the recall of about 6000 lmo State workers in government parastatals wrongly sacked by the state governor, Rochas Okorocha.
While we thank the entire people of Imo State for their uncommon understanding and solidarity with our actions to protect the fundamental rights of workers in the state, we wish to acknowledge Governor Okorocha for having the courage to reverse himself once we convinced him that his action was unlawful and wrongheaded.
It is our hope that the committee put in place to implement the agreement entered into between us and the lmo State government will faithfully implement the terms of the agreement so that we could put behind us the ugly and unpleasant situation created by the purported sacking of the workers.
Our hope is that governments in other states, or even at the federal level, will learn from the lmo State case, to avoid creating situations that will bring organised labour to be at loggerheads with them on account of unjust and anti-worker policies.
For and on Behalf of the Nigeria Labour Congress
Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni
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