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CSO demands review of power sector privatisation policy

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• Urges NLC, TUC to pull out of negotiation with firms, govt
• Condemns imposition of ‘crazy’ billing

A civil society organisation, Coalition for Affordable and Regular Electricity (CARE), yesterday, urged the reversal of privatisation policy in the power sector.

It also condemned what it termed ‘crazy’ billing being imposed on consumers by power distribution companies in the country.

CARE, a coalition of several community-based and civil society organisations formed for the purpose of campaigning for available, accessible and affordable electricity supply to all citizens without discrimination, stated this during a press conference addressed by its Convener, Shadrach Akinbodunshe and co-convener, Ayodeji Adigun, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

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The group said: “We demand a reversal of privatisation policy. Electricity power industry should be under democratic control and management of workers and consumers.

“We condemn all forms of imposition of crazy estimated billing and demands its end, including cancellation of all the accumulated debt based on the imposition of the crazy estimated billing.

“We demand the issuance of meters to all Nigerian consumers. No pre-paid meters, no payment of bills by consumers.

“We demand an end to extortionist policy that forces and arm-twist communities to procure electricity facilities (transformers, poles, aluminium conductors and so on) and hand over ownership to the Discos.

“We demand the cancellation of all debts accumulated through previous crazy and fraudulent billing.”

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“We demand massive public investment in the power sector to guarantee uninterrupted power supply to all Nigerians, including those that are yet to be connected to the national grid.

“We demand the immediate release of all consumers being held in police stations and correctional centres, or being prosecuted on cases of avoidable clashes with DisCos. Peaceful negotiation and resolution should be the way out.

“We demand a refund and compensation paid to all consumers that have been overbilled and underserved since this privatisation fraud started.”

The group, therefore, urged leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to pull out of the ongoing discussion/negotiation with the government and the power companies and join in the mobilisation of Nigerian workers and the masses, in general, to resist the ongoing rip-off and end this avoidable darkness.

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