Furtherance in the determination to put a final stop to extortion and exploitation in the power sector, a coalition of 16 civil society and community groups, associations pro-labour organisations and volunteers met in Lagos to deliberate on the crude electricity exploitation. Many other groups sent messages that they will join the movement in its subsequent activities.
Representatives of organisations took turns to reject and condemn the crude exploitation in the power sector, they were unanimous in their resoluteness to resist the exploitation and extortion.
The meeting was informed that similar meetings were holding in Ibadan and other states of the federation, it was agreed to reach out to all groups and coalitions as a means of unifying the struggle and movement.
Meeting Resolution Statement:
1. Considering the obvious failure of the power companies (DISCOs, GENCOs), we demand the revocation of their licenses, reversal of the privatisation policy and for public ownership of the sector. Considering the corruption and unaccountability of public officials,
we demand that the control of the sector should be placed under workers and consumers in a democratic and transparent manner to enable efficiency in the management.
2. Recognizing the importance of electricity to our lives and production and the poor purchasing power of the vast majority, we demand massive public investment to achieve uninterrupted power supply at affordable tariff.
This way, production cost will come down, the cost of living will come down to some extent as well. Hence, there is no justification for widespread darkness after the government spent over $20 billion on the power sector in the last 15 years.
3. Gas is owned by Nigerians, explored in Nigeria and used by power plants, we should enjoy the comparative advantage, it is wrong to subject Nigerians to international price standard, we condemn the high prices in gas and demand affordable gas pricing.
4. The current tariff regime is unaffordable and extortionist. Monthly electricity cost to poor working class consumers in many cases are more than N30,000 minimum wage and it is unacceptable. It is wrong for NERC to use inflation in the US and Nigeria to determine tariff rate when in actual fact higher tariff, in turn, contributes to the growing inflation. We demand a reversal of tariff to N13kwh and an end to incessant tariff hikes.
5. We reject the extortionist policy of the DISCOs that forces and arm-twist communities to procure electricity facilities (transformers, poles, aluminium conductors etc) and hand over ownership to the DISCOs. We demand an end to it and refund to these communities through lower billing or a cash refund.
6. Forcing electricity consumers to buy prepaid meters is double exploitation, prepaid meters, a tool for measuring electricity consumption should be free of charge. We reject this extortionist policy and demand issuance of prepaid meters to all consumers and refund to all consumers who had paid and procured prepaid meters.
7. It is unacceptable that after 60 years of independence, many communities and millions of Nigerians are not connected to the national grid; only 56% of Nigerians have access to electricity. We demand expansion of electricity generation and distribution to accommodate these communities.
8. The usage of armed police by the DISCOs to carry out disconnections as well as arrest, detention and unfair prosecution of innocent activists and consumers is condemnable. We demand an end to it.
9. The power sector was built by taxpayers’ money without discrimination, we reject the segregation of consumers and communities into bands that ultimately give supply preference to richer consumers. This policy is apartheid and discriminating, and we demand an end to it; we demand electricity supply to all Nigerians on the basis of equity at an affordable rate.
10. We condemn the fraudulent and continuous billing of consumers that have been disconnected by DISCOs. We demand an end to these anti-poor policies.
11. By virtue of the long years of outrageous (crazy) and unwarranted billing of most electricity consumers, PHCN and the power companies (GENCOS and DISCOs) are actually owing many consumers and should make refund.
12. We recognize that the government, NERC, GENCOs, DISCOs and TCN are in an unholy alliance against electricity consumers. Their capitalist profit ideology is responsible for the widespread darkness and exploitation.
13. We reject the October 8, 2020 labour leaders rotten agreement with the government. Electricity consumers were never consulted by the labour leaders before reaching the agreement. The only way to defeat this ‘Boko Haram’ electricity supply and billing and guarantee stable and affordable electricity is through mass struggle and mass participation in organising basic amenities to meet the needs of all.
We call on Nigerian electricity consumers to join the movement:
1. This is a movement that seeks the unification of resistance activities of all pro-labour and pro-people organisations against electricity exploitation.
2. This struggle is going to be protracted and we all should be ready to mobilize all electricity consumers to resist this exploitation and extortion.
3. Nigerians should not be fooled by the issuance of prepaid meters, we are not immune to the massive exploitation having procured or been issued prepaid meters. As a matter of fact, the continuous hike in tariff is aimed at extorting more from consumers at little supply. We want to warn that if we keep quiet, the tariff will get so high such that when we get supply, we shall voluntarily switch off virtually all our appliances because we cannot afford the tariff.
4. Our method of mobilization will be done through community and social media (Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram etc). We shall produce central materials (flyers, posters etc) for community sensitisation and mobilization. We encourage community and workplace meetings.
5. Link up with the central leadership for solidarity and leadership. Phone numbers: Twitter: WhatsApp: Facebook:
6. We appeal to all electricity consumers and Nigerians in general and across the country to join this movement in order to end this electricity slavery.