In line with the increase in electric tariffs and the stipulated payments by various electricity Band consumers, the challenge of insufficient prepaid metres arises. Following the announcement of the increase in electricity tariffs since the past week, there are reports from the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) that the supposed Band A users who do not have prepaid metres. On this basis, it was assumed that the calculation of their electricity consumption would be based on estimation. It is important to note that, according to the recent increase, the Band A client tariff rose from the rate of N68 kilowatts per hour to N225 kw/hour.


According to the commission, the process of estimating bills is subject to manipulation; as such, the elite Band category is looked up to to maintain transparency. To tackle this challenge, Dr. Musiliu Oseni, vice chairman of NERC, has instructed electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to give priority to the metering of Band A consumers. This directive appears to address the aforementioned challenge. Small enterprises and other impacted consumers are already considering declining any projected invoices and are prepared to cease operations should their DisCos disconnect them due to unpaid bills.


Additionally, yesterday saw the emergence of indications that Organised Labour intends to propose a revised minimum wage demand in response to the recent 300 percent increase in electricity tariffs implemented by the Federal Government. The union asserts that the aforementioned spike in electricity tariffs renders irrelevant its previous benchmark wage demand. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), in conjunction with the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), submitted a unified minimum wage request to the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage (TCNMW) via the National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission (NSIWC), the TCNMW’s secretariat, last month. Contrary to the joint presentation, NLC and TUC leaders in the zones put forth opposing proposals during zonal public hearings convened by the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage (TCNMW) in four of the six geopolitical zones of the country on March 8, 2024.


One of the executives of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage shared in an interview yesterday, “The recent hike in the electricity tariff has made nonsense of the demand we presented to the National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission, which is the secretariat of the minimum wage committee. Both centres had met last month to harmonise our different demands, as seen during the public hearing, and made a joint demand. But with the 300 percent increase in the electricity tariff, our demand is no longer realistic. Therefore, we plan to adjust our demand to accommodate the new tariff hike. As you are aware, our demand was based on the socioeconomic indices on the ground at the time we made it. However, things have changed, as evidenced by the government’s 300 percent hike in the electricity tariff. So, we have to adjust our demand by 300 percent in line with the electricity tariff hike.”

By Chidimma NWAFOR

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