10,000 electricity workers ’ll lose jobs over court order —EKEDC boss •NERC adamant, heads for appeal court

Engr. Oladele Amoda

Electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) have warned that if the court order which directed the discos to revert to the old tariff before the 45 per cent increase was introduced is obeyed, over 10,000 people would lose their jobs in the power sector.

Speaking to Saturday Tribune on Friday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc (EKEDC), Engr. Oladele Amoda stated that,  that order will affect the power sector negatively. He said over 10,000 workers may be sacked while investors will not just shy away from investing in the sector, international donors will also be discouraged from participating in the sector.

According to him, “on the court order on tariff reversal, we have appealed the court order for stay of execution. Meanwhile, that singular singular act will affect the power sector negatively. Investors will be discouraged from further investment in the sector, donor agencies may have a rethink.

“But the biggest one is that it may lead to job loss. More than 10,000 workers may lose their jobs if that judgement stands. Company cannot continue to run a business at a loss. If we are not making profit, at least we try to cover our cost.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission(NERC) on Friday said it would appeal against court ruling on reversal of the initial 45 per cent electricity tariff increase.

This is as the regulatory commission   insisted that it would retain its planned 45 per cent increase in electricity in the country.

In a press conference addressed by the acting chairman, NERC, Mr. Anthony Akah in Abuja at the commission’s headquarters, he noted that the commission was aware of the judgement which declared the electricity tariff regime that became operational on February 1, 2016 as illegal, adding that its reversal may not be possible.

According to him,“the commission respects this decision of the court but we are dissatisfied because it represents the reversal of the commercial foundation upon which contracts for gas, hydro, coal and solar feedstock for the production of electricity have been predicated.”