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Buhari Govt., Labour Agree To Reduce Electricity Tariff

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The Federal Government and Organised Labour on Monday agreed to pursue a reduction in electricity tariff by negotiating for a fair gas pricing for Electricity Generating Companies (GENCOs).

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, at the meeting with labour to review the reports of the Technical Committees on Electricity Tariff and Premium Motor Spirit, disclosed that the template for fixing the price of petroleum products “is a work in progress”.

This was made known in a statement issued on Monday by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations at the Ministry, Charles Akpan.

According to Ngige, the recommendations in the report include appropriate gas pricing for Electricity Generating Companies (GENCOs), which will ultimately lead to a price reduction of electricity per unit.

Both parties agreed to implement the recommendations in the report of the Technical Committee on Electricity Tariff after effecting some changes, the statement said.

Ngige stated that the implementation committee would ensure effective mass metering of people by monitoring the distribution of meters, as there had been reports that the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) had been hoarding the meters.

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This would effectively check the practice of irregular billing, like estimated billing, by the DISCOs, the minister said.

Ngige explained that the committee would work to put a stop to the forceful migration of consumers from the low-paying bands of D and E to the upper tariff bands of A and B, by the DISCOs.

Ngige added that DISCOs that indulge in such practices would be sanctioned by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), and encouraged victims of such migration to petition NERC.

Ngige said the Technical Committee on Electricity Tariff would be transmuted into a standing committee for the purpose of implementing the recommendations in the report.

“We adopted the report of the Electricity Committee, made some adjustments, and transformed that technical committee into an implementation committee. They are now the Standing Committee to implement all the recommendations they gave to us here,” he added.

Meanwhile, the President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, confirmed that the parties agreed that the matter of electricity tariff would be solved through appropriate Gas pricing and mass metering.

On the template for fixing the price, Wabba posited that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) “should do everything possible to make sure the current template serves Nigerians instead of the market forces.”

He noted that the welfare of Nigerians should be the focus of every government policy, and therefore called on the government to find a way of “protecting and insulating Nigerians from the vagaries of market forces.”

The meeting was adjourned to April.

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