Electricity tariff hike: NBA threatens lawsuit against Discos

Electricity tariff hike: NBA threatens lawsuit against Discos
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From L-R: Publicity Secretary, Mr Patrick Agboola, Member Committee on Election, Mr Mathias Emenbe, NBA Ikeja Chairman, Mr Seyi Olawunmi and Secretary of the association, Dr Issa Adedokun.
From L-R: Publicity Secretary, Mr Patrick Agboola, Member of the electricity tariff hike committee,  Mr Mathias Emenbe, NBA Ikeja Chairman, Mr Seyi Olawunmi and Secretary of the association, Dr Issa Adedokun.

By Adenike Ayodele
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch, has given the Federal Government and Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) a seven-day ultimatum to reverse to the old electricity tariff or face a lawsuit.

The chairman of the branch, Mr Seyi Olawunmi, said this at a news conference on Tuesday in Lagos.
Olawunmi described the increase in the electricity tariff by almost 300 per cent as not only unreasonable but also insensitive.

He said the National Electric Regulation Commission (NERC) order in respect to the tariff hike was not in line with the current economic realities of an average Nigerian.

He said the branch would seek appropriate remedies in the court if the Federal Government and concerned individuals failed to reverse the illegal electricity tariffs within seven days.

Olawunmi noted that NERC in December 2023, issued a new Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO 2024) which indicated a purported cost-reflective tariff chargeable by the various Discos.

He explained that large chuck of the electricity tariff was reportedly absorbed by the Federal Government under a subsidy arrangement.

The chairman said that the purported subsidy had reportedly been removed by the Federal Government, leading to an over 300 per cent increase in the electricity tariff payable by the end-user.

“We view this sudden astronomical increase in the end-user tariff irrespective of the technical arguments preferred in justification, as utterly exploitative and non-reflective of the current economic hardship that the masses are going through.

“The inflation and the depreciation of the Naira has affected their services that it is practically impossible to remain on the old tariff and electricity in Nigeria is not well priced.

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“We, therefore, demand immediate stop to the illegal implementation of the N225 per kWh imposed on the so called band A customers at the discretion of both the Discos and NERC without any empirical basis.

“The classification into band A or B or C or D or E should be scrapped and it is either the Discos are guaranteeing 24 hours supply for all or they are not.”
Olawunmi said the government and the Nigerian people can not continue to subsidise their inefficiency in the name of band A or B or C etc.

“If the government fails to reverse the illegal hike within seven days, we will be left with no choice than to seek appropriate remedies in the court of law,” the NBA Chairman said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

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