Yesterday, precisely February 8, 2016, members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) took to the street of Uyo, the capital city in a bid to show their grievance about the high electricity tariff imposed by Electricity Company.
The workers and members of the various Trade Unions protested along the major roads in Uyo. Some of them drove in Hilux vans, buses, carrying banners with different inscription such as, “we cannot pay for darkness”, “PHEDC stop defrauding our people” etc. other items such as sticks in their hands, beating the floor and changing war songs in vernacular that is interpreted as saying, “anyone who sees any NEPA worker, should not hesitate to flog him”.
Speaking differently to Century Newsfront when contacted the Chairmen of Akwa Ibom state chapters of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Etim Ukpong and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Comrade Akamba Awah said that the exercise is a peaceful one and that they are making it that way to pass information to management of the PHEDC to have a rethink else, they will short the entire economy if nothing is done about it, “we have decided to take to the streets to register our displeasure with the arbitrary increase in Electricity Tariff”, adding that the ordinary citizens cannot continue to live in darkness in view of the arbitrary increase in the tariff.
The case in Akwa Ibom State is quite different in that as an intending industrial hub of the nation, it is badly hit. Giving more explanation to their action, they said that the decision taken should have come from the Ministry of Power and not PHED Company to have unilaterally taken the decision to increase electricity tariff, “they supposed to follow due process, carry out public hearing, get inputs from stakeholders before embarking on anything. This country belongs to all of us, not a minority few, there is need for consultation”, they insisted.
It could be recalled that the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress had two days ago intimated all the Labour Unions nationwide to carry on this in all the state to register their displeasure.