NERC Rejects Ruling on Electricity Tariff Hike

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said it would not accept the ruling of a Lagos High Court, that nullified the February 1 electricity tariff hike.
The NERC said it is rejecting the ruling in view of the fact that reversal to the old order will make things difficult for players in the industry.
Justice Mohammed Idris had on Wednesday ordered the Commission to immediately reverse the decision as the process that led to the new tariff regime because it did not follow due process.
Justice Idris made the pronouncement while delivering judgment in a suit filed by a human rights lawyer, Toluwani Adebiyi, challenging the increment.
The Judge described NERC’s action as “ultra vires, irrational, irregular and illegal”.
But, Acting Chairman of the Commission, Anthony Akah, said in Abuja on Friday that although the regulatory agency respected the decision of the court, it was dissatisfied with it.
He said the ruling represented the reversal of the commercial foundation upon which contracts for gas, hydro, coal and solar feedstock for the production of electricity were based.
“This judgment, in our view, is a major setback to the progress made so far in the electricity sector,” Akah said.
“Therefore, we will challenge the decision.”
He said the Commission had already instructed its lawyers to file for a stay of execution of the order, while a notice of appeal of the judgment has been issued.
Meanwhile, the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) on Thursday said that it has appealed against the judgment.
Sunday Oduntan, the Executive Director of ANED, announced the decision in Lagos.
ANED is the association of the 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) operating in Nigeria.
Oduntan said the association had appealed against the ruling and would pursue the judgment to the Supreme Court for justice to be done.
“We have appealed against the ruling and asked for a stay of execution now.
“I can assure you that as a legal luminary, we will not stop until we get justice.
“If the Appeal Court judgment is not favourable, we will pursue the case to the Supreme Court which is the highest court in the land, so there is no cause for alarm,” he said.
On Dec. 15, 2015, NERC announced a new electricity tariffs for all class of consumers, which became effective on Feb.1, 2016.
The directive also abolished the contentious fixed charges for all electricity consumers nationwide.

Author: News Editor

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