There’s new drama every day in Nigeria. Since we entered 2024, we’ve dealt with fuel scarcity, inflation, a drunk electricity grid, and electricity tariff wahala, but apparently, we’re only in episode 2, season 1. 

In April 2024, the electricity tariff costs increased by over 240% for Band A users and fuel price jumped from ₦600 per litre to as high as ₦1000 per litre in May 2024. The National Labour Congress (NLC) relayed messages of displeasure to the Federal government regarding this situation, but not much has changed. 

In an unexpected move, The NLC on Monday, May 13 2024, shut the gates of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company in Ilorin, Kwara State seeking the reversal of the electricity tariff earlier imposed. The Union members were at the IBEDC offices in Challenge and Baboko market areas in Ilorin as early as 7 a.m. to lock the gates and prevent anyone from going in. The same happened at the Discos in Lokoja, Abuja, Ikeja, Benin, Jos, Kaduna and other locations across the country.

The Chairman of NLC in Kwara state, Comrade Muritala Olayinka said that the union was carrying out the instruction of the National Secretariat and that the offices would remain locked until the order to reopen them came from Abuja. 

NLC members at a DisCo office

Earlier, the labour unions had given the NERC  a May 12 deadline to withdraw the recent hike in electricity tariff or face the consequences, and their actions have shown how much they’re standing on business. 

Following their protest on May 13, 2024, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero said that their actions became necessary because Nigerians were wallowing in power poverty, especially after the tariff hike when the government promised extended hours of power supply.

He also went on to say that the government had ignored their letters and complaints, and that people were paying high amounts for electricity but not getting power supply, and that it was an unbecoming situation. 

Pending when the federal government responds to their complaints and strike actions, it is unclear when or if the picketing actions against electricity distribution companies will continue.  

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