Court orders NERC to halt hike in electricity tariff
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Court orders NERC to halt hike in electricity tariff

- A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered NERC to stop hike in electricity tariff

- NERC had announced on Saturday, January 4, that electricity tariffs being paid by consumers would increase in April

- The court, however, ruled that the NERC and other stakeholders in the electricity industry should maintain the status quo

Stakeholders in the electricity industry have been asked to maintain current prices pending the determination of a motion challenging the proposed tariff hike.

This Day reports that the order was given on Tuesday, January 7, by the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos. gathered that Justice Muslim Hassan fixed the January 20, to hear the motion.

According to the report, the judge made the order in a suit by the incorporated trustees of human rights foundation against 15 respondents in the electricity industry.

Court orders NERC to halt hike in electricity tariff

Power grid
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The respondents in the suit include Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC); the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE); the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company Plc; and the Minister of Power.

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Also joined as respondents are Abuja, Benin, Enugu, Ikeja, Kaduna, Kano, Port Harcourt, Yola, Eko, Ibadan and Jos electricity distribution companies.

The NERC announced on January 4, that electricity tariffs being paid by consumers would increase in April.

In its suit, the non-governmental organisation filed an ex parte motion praying the court to stop the proposed over 40 per cent increase in electricity tariff.

The applicants contended that “the implementation of the purported minor review of the Multi-Year Tariff Order will create unquantifiable hardship and damages on the Nigerian electricity consumers.

“Consumers will be made to pay very high tariff, which has been increased by over 40 per cent across the board of which is currently being billed.”

In an affidavit deposed to by Theodora Ubabunike, a lawyer, the human rights group said: “It will amount to a great injustice to impose arbitrary electricity tariff on Nigerian electricity consumers.

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“Nigerians will suffer monumental loss as many people will not be able to access power or access the same at very high tariff. I know that Nigerians are entitled to access public amenities like electrical power.”

In arguing the application on Monday, the applicant’s counsel, Anaje Chinedu, prayed for an order of interim injunction restraining NERC from taking any step towards the implementation of the purported minor review of the multi-year tariff order 2015 and the remittance order 2019, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by the group.

Justice Hassan declined to grant the ex parte application, but he ordered the parties to maintain the status quo.

The judge said: “The status quo antebellum shall be maintained by the parties in this suit pending the determination of the motion on notice.”

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Meanwhile, had previously reported that NERC said that Nigerians would begin to pay more for electricity consumption from January 2020.

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