23rd May, 2012
Mr. Bede Opara, President, Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC), on Tuesday reiterated the need for adequate supply of electricity before increasing the tariff.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, Opara said that the time was not ripe to impose on consumers an increase in electricity tariff.
Opara spoke against the background of Federal Government’s endorsement of a new electricity tariff, expected to take effect on June 1.
“The time for an increase in electricity tariff is not now; the right time should be when power is available for people.
“It is better to have the energy available before raising the price because consumers are already complaining of paying for products not used,” Opara said.
According to the SSAEAC president, consumers will be willing and happy to pay for the increase in electricity tariff if power is made available at least 18 hours everyday.
He urged the government to review its decision and ensure that sufficient power was generated before an increase in tariff.
On privatisation of the power sector, Opara said that the union was not against it, explaining that the workers preferred liberalisation rather than privatisation of the power sector.
“The union believes that the sector needs to be reformed; what government wants is to make electricity available for all Nigerians and if that is so, privatisation is not the solution,” he said.
He advised government to ensure that all labour issues and entitlements were settled before privatising the PHCN.