Electricity tariff: Ngige to meet labour over protest

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, will hold a joint meeting with leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress and top executives of Electricity Distribution Companies next week to avert the planned picketing of the Discos by members of the NLC.

The Labour had said that it would begin a nationwide picketing of the Discos on Monday.

The Ministry of Labour and Employment, in a statement on Friday, said Ngige had intervened in the dispute between Labour and power firms.

The statement, signed by the Deputy Director (Press), Samuel Olowookere, quoted Ngige as giving the hint while defending the ministry’s budget before the Senate Committee on Employment Labour and Productivity.

The Minister said, “We have got their letter and have invited them for discussions, including electricity distributions companies and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.”

The Trade Union Congress, the NLC and civil society organisations had planned to picket electricity distributions companies to oppose tariff increase.

The groups said the tariff hike contravened the agreement they had reached with the power firms during the privatisation of the electricity companies.

They also said that there was a subsisting suit dated May 28, 2015 by the Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos in the case of Toluwani Yemi-Adebiyi Vs NERC, in which the power firms had been ordered not to carry out any tariff increase pending the determination of the suit.