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NLC Will Disown Obi If He Adopts IMF Policies As Nigeria’s President – Ajaero

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NLC Will Disown Obi If He Adopts IMF Policies As Nigeria’s President – Ajaero

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Joe Ajaero says the labour union would have disowned the 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) Peter Obi if he had adopted the policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank had he been elected Nigeria’s President

Ajaero, who was a guest on Channels Television’s The Morning Brief breakfast programme on Tuesday, described the position of the NLC on the removal of petrol subsidy and electricity subsidy as “fixated”, adding that the labour union would have it tough with any LP President who implements the policies of Bretton Woods institutions which support the removal of subsidies on electricity tariff and petrol.

The NLC President said, “He (Obi) is the presidential candidate of Labour Party but does he own NLC or the Labour Party? Why can’t you separate them? Whosoever is the presidential candidate or official of the Labour Party must buy into our projects. If he says he was going to undertake those policies, let him be elected and try such policies.

“Whether a presidential candidate of a party that Labour forms would dictate for Labour? The answer is known to everybody. The policies of Labour, the ideologies of Labour are clear and we are going to pursue it. If anybody is coming with another ideology, he is going to have it tough with us because that is not what we stand for.

“It (our approach) would have been worst for anybody flying the flag of Labour Party to come and implement these policies, to come and adopt the policies of the IMF and the World Bank. It would have been worst for the person. In fact, we would disown the person, he would be on his own. We have to make this distinction clear.”

‘It Pushes Up Inflation’

Meanwhile, Ajaero said electricity tariff hike pushes up inflation, insisting that the recent increase by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and distribution companies in the country must be immediately reversed.

“Unknown to people, this issue of tariff increase is determined by inflation and the value of the currency,” NLC President Joe Ajaero said on Channels Television’s The Morning Brief show on Tuesday.

“NERC takes these two major variables to determine tariff increase. Unknown to the same NERC, each time you increase tariff, it leads to another inflation which within few months, they would see demand for another tariff increase. And this is happening on and on and there is no control over it.”

On April 3, 2024, NERC raised electricity tariff for customers enjoying 20 hours power supply daily. Customers in this category are said to be under the Band A classification. The increase saw the customers paying N225 kilowatt per hour from the current N66, a development that has been heavily criticised by many Nigerians, considering the immediacy of the tariff hike and the current hardship in the land.

Following the outrage, NERC asked discos to cut down electricity tariff rate by 8.1% for customers under Band A category. The outrage, however, persisted with many Nigerians rejecting the reduction and demanding a total reversal of the tariff hike. The NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) subsequently picketed NERC offices and discos on Monday to press home their demands.

Ajaero, on Channels Television’s programme on Tuesday morning, kicked against the “politics of reduction” embarked upon by NERC in recent times. He said reduction after tariff increase won’t stand, insisting that NERC and discos must first reverse the tariff to the old rates and come to the negotiation table with labour unions and other stakeholders on an agreeable way forward.

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