The Nigeria Labour Congress’ (NLC) Central Working Committee has rejected the 45 percent upward review of electricity tariff, demanding that pre-paid meters be made available free to electricity subscribers.
In a communique at the end of its emergency meeting in Abuja, the NLC said increasing electricity tariff at this point in time with the challenges in the economy, which, it added, have adversely reduced the purchasing power of ordinary Nigerians and slowed down businesses, was not justifiable.
“It is clear, therefore, that the 45 per cent tariff increase is an additional heavy burden on consumers and will have a telling effect on business, especially manufacturing,” the communique, which was signed by the NLC President Ayuba Wabba and its General Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, said.
The congress also warned against the planned reintroduction of toll gates on federal highways, saying proceeds from the toll gates in the past were never put to judicious use.
“The enormous public resources expended in the past on the construction and demolition of toll gates,” it was noted in the communique. “The proceeds from toll collection were never effectively deployed for the maintenance of roads, but lined the pockets of favoured collectors”.
The NLC said it was convinced that proceeds from any new toll collections would suffer the same fate and stressed that it “disagrees with the planned” the fresh plan.
On the issue of the N18,000 minimum wage, the congress said: “There have been discordant tunes from state governors on the issue of the National Minimum Wage. Whereas, at one moment, they deny that there are plans to reduce the minimum wage, at another moment, they threaten to sack workers or reduce the minimum wage.
“The National Minimum Wage of N18,000 has been rendered valueless by the mindless devaluation of the Naira and rising inflation. Moreover, it is legally due for a review.
“It is a national law, which no governor can unilaterally review. In the light of the above, the CWC resolved to oppose any attempt by any governor to reduce or tamper with the minimum wage and mobilise all members of the congress to any state that reviews downward the minimum wage or resorts to laying off workers.”