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Ahead of growing plans between the federal government and power Distribution Companies (Discos) to hike electricity tariff soon, three Community Based Associations (CBAs), Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), Ajegunle People Movement (APM) and Surulere Community Association (SCA), have matched in Lagos, opposing the idea.
According to the groups during the well coordinated protest match, there must be installation of prepaid metres in all houses in the country before any tariff rise.
Other terms and conditions rolled out by the groups include “cancellation of all outstanding debts accumulated on the basis of estimated bills,” and there should also be no payment for darkness or disconnection fees.
The CBAs further called on the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), United Labour Congress (ULC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the leaders of National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) to declare a day of action against the failed agenda of privatisation, which hasn’t improved the electricity sector but has further benefitted “private profiteers.”
A human rights lawyer, Toluwani Adebiyi, who participated in the protest, urged the government to stop the proposed 61.5 percent increment of electricity tariff, arguing the increment would infuriate and pitch the people against the government.
Adebiyi said the economic recession has done enough damage to the ailing image of the government and by increasing the electricity tariff, it would escalate the hardship in the country.
In his lead argument, he said time has come for Nigerians to roundly resist any form, manner or plan of tariff increment, stressing that “Distribution Companies (DISCOS) cannot increase tariff when electricity supply across the nation clearly remains epileptic.”
The group also hinted that they are already contacting other CBAs across the federation for a nationwide shutdown protest early next year to show government that Nigerian communities are trailing their failing performances in power delivery which formed a major issue of the administration’s campaign promises in 2015.
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