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Manufacturers reject new electricity tariffs, threaten court action




PUBLIC outcry is trailing the new tariff regime announced yesterday by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

Miffed by the hike, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has accused NERC and the nation’s 11 electricity distribution companies of ‘mischief’. MAN claimed it had previously secured a court injunction against any tariff increase, insisting that it would only pay for electricity using the old rates approved in 2012.

The 577 manufacturers speaking under the umbrella of MAN described the action of NERC as subjudice, vowing to approach the court to stop the implementation of the new price regime. The association said it would also ask the court to commit the management of NERC and the Discos to prison for contempt of court.

MAN President, Frank Udemba Jacob, who was visibly upset, told The Guardian: “We are shocked at the action of NERC and the distribution companies. We have a court injunction restraining them from any increase. We had prayed the court to ask NERC to revert to the previous Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO).
“This amounts to subjudice. We are going to brief our lawyers to take it up.”

According to Jacob, manufacturers across the country would resist the new tariff as it did with the one previously announced last January.

The court injunction shown The Guardian and dated 9/7/2015, was jointly procured by the 577 manufacturers. It restrains NERC and the distribution companies from disconnecting electricity supply to the plaintiffs/applicants provided they continue to pay for electricity consumed at rates in the Multi Year Tariff Order announced in 2012.

Following the court injunction it secured in July, Director General of MAN, Remi Ogunmefun, had on July 9 asked members to resist the tariff increase.

A memo entitled ‘Court Injunction against National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and all the Discos’ read: “This is to inform all members that MAN and its members were on July 9, 2015 granted an injunction restraining NERC and all the Discos throughout the federation from implementing MYTO 2.1.

“Members are hereby advised not to make any payments on the said MYTO 2.1 to any of the Discos and to continue to honour only bills under MYTO 2.0. Copies of the Court Order will be forwarded to you tomorrow. Please be guided.”

Under the new tariff announced by NERC on Monday, R2 customers covered by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) who currently pay N13.91 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) will witness an increase by N9.60.

Consumers under the Eko and Ikeja electricity distribution areas who currently pay N12.87kWh and N13.61 kWh respectively will witness a N10 and N8 increase respectively in their energy charges.
Electricity consumers covered by Kaduna and Benin Discos who currently pay N16.90 kWh and N12.54 kWh will witness an increase of N11.05 and N9.26 respectively in their energy charges.
For commercial consumers in Ibadan and Enugu who currently pay N25.18 kWh and N24.01 kWh respectively, their energy charge will increase by N12.08 and N13.35 respectively.

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