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TUC Threatens Showdown Against FG Over Electricity Tariff Increase

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The federal government has been told to revert the electricity tariff hike or face a showdown.

Trade Union Congress threatened the FG on Tuesday.

It described the decision as ‘wicked’ and ‘another betrayal of trust’ coming in the middle of ongoing negotiations by the FG and the organised labour on the November 1, 2020 hike.

The union asked the government to revert to the old price or face the consequences of its decision.

This was contained in a statement by the TUC President, Quadri Olaleye, and the Secretary-General, Musa Lawal, titled, ‘Electricity hike: Another betrayal of trust’.

The congress wondered “why this government espouses unfriendly policies that are capable of crippling the economy.”

It said many companies which could not pay the previous tariff hikes had either closed shop or relocated to neighbouring countries.

The TUC stated, “Does it mean there is no other way this government can creatively generate revenue? It has become obvious that the outrages from the organised labour and the masses and the series of negotiations we had with the government were just cosmetic and hypocritical.

“There is so much deceit and laziness in the system; there is hardly any promise made that they have followed through.

“Only yesterday (Monday), we read again that the Academic Staff Union of Universities is withdrawing its members because this same government has reneged on its promises reached a few days ago.

“How can the government go-ahead with increase in tariffs again when we have not resolved the one done earlier? This is preposterous, ridiculous and sheer wickedness.”

The congress noted that it had become the butt of jokes among Nigerians because it was reluctant to launch an offensive on account of the poor state of the economy.

It said, “The economy was struggling before the outbreak of the pandemic and we thought it wise not to worsen our situation. The sacrifice means nothing to these people, who forced us to tighten our belt while they loosened theirs.

“Darkness enhances criminal activities and now they have chosen to keep us in the darkness thinking their high fences will save them. We call on the government to be responsible for once. Nigerians will like to know what we gained from border closures. Insecurity did not stop, neither did it stop the smuggling of rice and others.”

The TUC said the government should not push the organised labour to the wall with its harsh policies.

It stated, “You don’t just churn out policies without weighing the pros and cons. How many people can afford to pay the last bill talk less of this recent one? The organised labour should not be pushed to the wall because it will actually do all no good. The government must revert to the old price or be willing to accept the outcome of this decision. This is a betrayal of trust and it is unfortunate.”

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