Thursday, July 14, 2016

Court Annuls 45% Electricity Tariff Hike

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Wednesday, annulled the increment in electricity tariff recently announced by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission,
NERC. Trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris in his judgment in the suit by a human rights lawyer, Mr. Toluwani Adebiyi, challenging the increment, described NERC’s action as procedurally ultra vires, irrational, irregular and illegal.

Meanwhile the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has commended the ruling of the Federal High Court which declared the 45 per cent electricity tariff increase illegal. The NLC gave the commendation in a statement signed by its President, Ayuba Wabba. Wabba said “the court ruled today that the tariff increase by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was illegal and should be reversed immediately. “The increase is illegal, unfair, unjustifiable and a further exploitation of the already exploited Nigerians as due process in the extant laws for such an increment was not followed.”

 Civil society group had dragged NERC to court, challenging the legality of the increase in electricity tariff. The court then held that the implementation of the 45 per cent increase constituted a violation of its interim order, and awarded N50,000 cost against NERC. “This is a courageous judgment deserving commendation. We consider it a victory for the ordinary Nigerian who has been oppressed by exploitative bills,” the Congress boss added.

 He then urged NERC and Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to obey the ruling and revert to the old rates without further delay. “We demand that NERC and DISCOs observe all conditions as contained in the sales agreement before any increase is made,” he added. The Congress emphasised that there had not been any significant improvement in service delivery and most consumers were not metered in accordance with the signed privatisation memorandum of Nov. 21, 2013.

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