Organized Labour Shuts Down NERC, EEDC Offices In Ebonyi Over Electricity Tarrif Hike

By Our Reporter, Abakaliki

The Organized Labour in Ebonyi State, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (NLC) has picketed the offices of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) in Abakaliki, capital city of Ebonyi State.

The Labour leaders blocked the NERC office at Nsugbe Street, Abakaliki, as early as 7:30am on Monday, chanting solidarity songs. 

Apparently aware of the picketing, the staff of NERC were not seen as their offices were under lock and key.

Undeterred by the absence of NERC officials, the labour leaders still blocked the entrance gate of the NERC office for about an hour to ensure no one gained entrance into the premises.

They later proceeded to EEDC office at Awolowo Street, Abakaliki, where the offices were also seen to be under lock and key. 

However, the labour leaders were still unperturbed as they besieged the Awolowo EEDC office for an hour before they proceeded to the second office of EEDC located at Town Planning road, opposite Correctional Centre, Abakaliki, where EEDC staff were seen at their offices.

But the labour leaders immediately ordered them out of their offices and asked them to go home, maintaining that no work until their demands are met. 

Our Correspondent reports that the EEDC staff were immediately forced out of their offices by the Labour Leaders who quickly locked up the offices while chanting solidarity songs.

They were there for hours, making sure the EEDC staff had gone home and no one coming into the office before leaving the place.

They labour leaders carried placards with inscriptions such as: The poor must breathe, the NLC/TUC demand that the new electricity tariff must be reversed, Nigerians say, no increase in electricity tariff among other inscriptions.

Addressing Journalists, the Chairperson, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ebonyi State, Comrade Professor Ogugua Egwu, said the picketing followed a directive from the national leadership of the organized Labour.

Egwu said Nigerians are tired of the inhuman policies of some government officials against the poor masses, adding that the recent increment of electricity tariff was an act of wickedness and must be reversed.

"We picketed NERC and EEDC offices and we made sure that the few people we saw were ordered to leave their offices. We made sure all offices were under lock and key. The managerial staff were not seen, perhaps they knew the organized Labour was coming with force. We are insisting that the poor must breathe and they must reverse the new electricity tariff which is to the tune of over 300% when workers salaries have not been increased in the past 5 years. The minimum wage is now a dead wage. The PMS pump price is alarming and they now want to increase electricity tariff. We say it's not going to work", the NLC Chairperson said. 

On his part, the Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Chidi Igboji, on his part, corroborated the position of Comrade Professor Egwu, maintaining that the new electricity tariff must be reversed immediately. 

He said the Nigerian people are ready for a show down with any government official who wants to worsen the current suffering of Nigerians. 

"Nigerians especially workers can no longer afford the prices of goods in the market, fuel price is almost N1000 per litre and NERC wants to impose another suffering in Nigerians by increasing the fuel pump price. We cannot allow this to happen. We must subject them to reverse it or this kind of action will continue", Mr Igboji stated. END//

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