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SERAP threatens legal action over electricity tariffs hike

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The Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to immediately reverse the increase in electricity tariff for Nigerians.

Besides, SERAP said it would seek all legal actions, if NERC refused to reverse the plan, as it holds that the United Nations (UN) has barred the arbitrary increase of electricity tariff and that Nigeria, as a member of the organisation, should be guided by the UN decision on the matter.

NERC had disclosed that following December 2019 Minor Review of Multi-Year Tariff Order 2015 and Minimum Remittance Order for the Year 2020, there would be an increase in electricity tariff, starting from April 2019.

But SERAP said: “We’ll pursue appropriate legal action if this decision is not immediately withdrawn and the arbitrary increase in electricity suspended,” SERAP said.The rights group posited that while Nigeria continues to derail in the generation and distribution of electricity, failure of states to provide basic services such as electricity is a violation of the right to health.

According to SERAP, the special rapporteurs called on the Nigerian authorities not to increase electricity tariffs until there was an impact assessment conducted to gauge the impact of the tariff increase on the rights of poor people in Nigeria.

“Public consultations must take place, including with potentially affected persons and especially people living in extreme poverty.”Accessible and culturally adequate information about the measure should be actively disseminated through all channels prior to consultation.

“Measures should be put in place to ensure that the human rights of people living in extreme poverty in Nigeria will not be undermined by an increase in electricity tariffs,” the group added.The group stressed that measures should be put in place to ensure that consumers can enjoy their right to adequate housing, including sustainable access to energy for cooking, heating and lighting, which is a component of the right.


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