NLC Shutdown NERC, DISCOs to Protest Hike in Electricity Tariff

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday mobilized workers across Nigeria to protest the recent hike in electricity tariff by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) through the various electricity distribution companies.

The President of the NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero in Abuja led protesting workers to the headquarters of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) where they were met by the Chairman of the commission, Mr. Sanusi Garba.

Addressing the workers, Garba said that plans were already afoot to ameliorate the situation, stating that there was a need to go back to the “drawing board” in resolving  the crisis generated by the decision of the government to remove subsidy on electricity tariff.

He said:

“On behalf of the NERC, I want to welcome the comrades who have come here on a peaceful demonstration. We have taken note of all you have said, particularly about the affordability of tariffs. We have listened to you and the concerns of Nigerians.

“We also noted clearly what comrade Ajaero said about energy sources, and I would like to say that the new Zungeru power plant is already online, generating over 600 megawatts. we are also working hard to ramp up solar generation in such a way that tariff will start to come down.

“Comrade Ajaero also made remarks about banks sitting on the boards of distribution companies. The NERC had earlier given deadlines to all the banks to exit from the boards of distribution companies because we want proper investors on the boards of these companies.

“We have noted your concerns and we will go back to the drawing board.”

The workers, however, the protesting workers refused the approach of the NERC Chairman insisting that the tariff must be reversed chanting, “No, No, reverse the hike, we demand total reversal of electricity tariff hike.”

The Federal Government of Nigeria had on April 3, 2024 removed subsidy on electricity tariff and created a billing system called “bands” where some areas are given  more supply than others and those given more supply are categorized as “Band A” who are to get minimum of 20hour electricity supply.

Across the states both the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) took to the streets to picket all the of the various electricity distribution companies.



In Kaduna, the capital of Kaduna State both members and leadership of the NLC and the TUC early in the morning stormed the Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) office with placards and called for immediate reversal of the tariff hike.

Some of the placards read: “The Poor Can No Longer Breathe,” “Cut Down the Reckless Cost of Governance,” among many others.

A member of the TUC, Mubarak Buba Yarima who spoke on behalf of the striking workers said that the current policies of the government were making life unbearable for Nigerians, especially civil servants who salaries can no longer take care of the basic needs of the family.



In Jos, the Plateau State Capital, workers in their numbers closed the Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JEDC) demanding immediate restoration of subsidy on electricity tariff.

In Kano workers also swooped on the office of NERC where workers of the commission were not allowed to go into their offices.

The protesting worker bemoaned the strangulating effect of the increase in electricity bill noting that the government was being insensitive to the plight of Nigerian workers.




In Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital workers from both the NLC and TUC stormed the office of both NERC and the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC)  demanding that the new tariff be rescinded with immediate effect.

They protesting workers were led by NLC Chairman in the state, Comrade Ogugua Egwu and his counterpart from the TUC, Comrade Chidi Igboji.

The workers were seen in the Awolowo Street office of the EEDC and that of NERC located off  Nsugbe Street with placards with inscriptions such, ‘NLC say no to electricity tariff increase,’ ‘NLC demands reversal of electricity tariff hike,’ Nigerian government let the poor breathe, and  ‘Nigerians reject electricity tariff hike,’ among many others.

Addressing the workers, the NLC Chairman, Comrade Ogugua Egwu said, “We are here to tell the world that their heartlessness, recklessness and wickedness against ordinary Nigerians must be stopped.

“We are here to say that the recent tariff increase for Band A from 65 naira to over N225 representing a 340 percent increase, must be reversed.

“If it is not reversed by the government that has decided to suffer us, we must continue to picket all EEDC and NERC offices till the hike is reversed.”

On his part, the TUC Chairman, Chidi Igboji said, “This increase is evil because it is meant to ensure that the poor masses will continue to be poor and we the organised labour in Ebonyi State, are saying no to this increase. What we are saying is that EEDC and NERC should let the poor breathe.”



In Osun State, the protesting workers blocked the entrance of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) premises in Osogbo to protest the increase in electricity tariff.

The workers comprising both members of the NLC and TUC, demanded that the government must reverse the hike in the tariff hike.

The Osun State Chairman of NLC, Comrade Christopher Arapasopo, while addressing the workers said: “You will recall that on April 3, NERC announced increase in electricity tariff, and this is killing Nigerians and Nigerian workers say No to this.

“We ought to enjoy power supply for at least 20 hours, but I cannot recollect the last time power was supplied to us for eight hours

“Recently, we had the issue of fuel scarcity and again, we are battling with hike in electricity tariff. The Federal Government has to do the needful.

“The Central Working Committee (CWC) of the labour unions met on April 30, to take a stand against the electricity hike and that there should be picketing of DisCos today.

“We hope that the FG and DisCos will do the needful and reverse the tariff, but if they failed, the CWC will give directive on further steps to take.”

Also, Comrade Abimbola Fasasi, the Osun State Chairman of TUC, said that the “The FG must reverse its decision on electricity tariff increment. We don’t want it at this time.

“The government has to develop and improve electricity generation and supply.

“How many megawatts is Nigeria generating? They are just pumping money into power without results and they want to heap the expenses on Nigerians.

“We are saying ‘NO to electricity increment’ and additional burden on Nigerians and that is why we are here today picketing IBEDC offices.”



In Benin City, the capital of Edo State, workers besieged the headquarters of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) as well as the office of NERC and barricaded the offices preventing workers from going into the premises.

The workers were led by the NLC and TUC leaders in the state.

Addressing the crowd, the Edo State chairman of NLC, Comrade Odion Olaye, said, “We are here this morning to picket this DISCO and NERC. The reason is that we want a reversal from N225 to N65 as it was before. The reason is that the hike in tarrif is a death penalty to the workers, it’s a nightmare to the workers, it’s a masquerade to the workers and to the society at large

“We all know the importance of electricity, once the tarrif is increased, it affects every facet of life and for that reason, the national said they should reverse it and to enable them enhance the reversal, that’s the reason for the picketing.”

“The message to electricity consumer in Edo State is that they should join the struggle so that they can bring the down the price of electricity down to the nearest minimum. We are asking them to revert to the former price which is N65 per kilowatt.

“The offices of the BEDC and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission will remain locked until we get directive from the national headquarters of the Unions to unlock them.”

Comrade Nash Shuaibu, the Zonal Organising Secretary, Edo/Delta Zone of National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), who also spoke at the protest said, “As members of National Union of Electricity Employees, we had cried out to the Nigeria Labour Congress series of time about the maltreatment, the molestation, the beatings our staff receive outside because of this in ease in tariff

“The environment is no longer conducive for us to work, and it is as a result of this hike in tarrif.
We have cried to the Congress to help us because electricity workers are really dehumanized, they are scared to go out for work because the customers do not have electricity supplied to them, yet, we bring bills to them.

“We are appealing to the NLC to address this issue with the NEC and the necessary agencies to ensure that our staff are protected.”

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