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Court Stops New Electricity Tariff Hike

Funsho Akinwale

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered Electricity Distribution Companies to halt all plans to increase electricity tariffs as announced by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, pending the determination of a motion challenging it.

Justice Muslim Hassan during the hearing ordered the parties involved to maintain the status quo.

The respondents included NERC, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company Plc, and the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman.

The likes of Abuja, Benin, Enugu, Ikeja, Kaduna, Kano, Port Harcourt, Yola, Eko, Ibadan, and Jos DisCos are part of the respondents.

A non-governmental organization had approached the court to stop the new tariffs from coming into effect.

Although the federal government has denied the move for the increment, claiming that it was a mere rumor, the commission still insisted that the new tariff hike would become effective in April.

The NGO in its prayers asked the court to stop the move, noting that it would bring more hardship to Nigerians.

“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,”

“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,” the group said.

Justice Hassan declined to grant the ex parte application, but said, “the status quo ante bellum shall be maintained by the parties in this suit pending the determination of the motion on notice.”

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