Privatisation: NLC laments worsened State of Power Sector

After twelve years of privatisation, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) bemoaned poor power supply in the country, saying this was not good for businesses and national development.

Labour said the sector was privatised by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, power supply has not improved.

President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, who said this during the 13th quadrennial national delegates conference of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) in Abuja on Tuesday, lamented that while tariff was on the increase, power supply had nosedived.

He recommended a policy change to drive the power sector.

Ajaero said: “I was one of the persons that said privatisation was not the solution to the power crisis in the country. Twelve years later we are worse off. While tariffs are on the increase, power supply is nosediving. We need some intervention in the sector because no sector can survive in this present situation.

“Each time we hear of billions in the power sector but it is not making any impact. Even after privatisation, the power sector has been subsidised with over N2trn. We need policies in the power sector because that is the driver of industrialisation and development. This is very important.

“In Nigeria today, there are many power plants that do not serve their purpose. This has affected us. That is why we need a new policy in the power sector that will assist everybody.”

The NLC president also lamented the rising inflation in the country.

Ajaero said with the current inflation of 31. 70 per cent, even if the national minimum wage was increased to N1 million, it would not be enough for workers.

Ajaero said: “No matter the minimum wage we pay in this country today, if the issue of the devaluation of the currency continues, even if you pay N1m, it will lose its value the following day. If we don’t check inflation, if you don’t check the exchange rate, if you pay workers N1m today it won’t be able to buy much.

“We need to look at all variables in the determination of the new minimum wage. No matter what you pay workers today, the value will go down in the next one year.”

The NLC President also lamented the poor state of the textile industry, noting that no nation could survive without developing the textile industry.

Ajaero said the fortune of the textile industry had not improved despite pronouncements by the Federal Government to revive the sector.

It is not clear yet after President Tinubu recently signed Electricity Act, if the government will reverse the privatisation, which people believed was benefited by cronies of past administration with allowing experts to handle the sector.

The situation is becoming more worrisome has power is often interrupted intermittently within minutes wondering if the sector could ever be fixed.


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