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April 30, 2024

Electricity tariff hike: Minister of power has failed Nigerians — Falana

INEC can't conduct credible elections with appointment of partisan RECs - Falana

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana said the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu has failed Nigerians over failure to deliver a constant supply of electricity despite increasing tariffs.

Falana stated this in an interview with Channels Television on Tuesday.

The senior lawyer described power policy as “the illegality of tariffs,” adding that the federal government and Adelabu could not defend the hike.

Recall that the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had increased the tariff paid by Band A customers from N68/KWh to N225/kWh.

NERC also said Band A customers are expected to receive between 20-24 hours of electricity supply daily while the subscribers under Band B enjoy 16 to 20 hours of power supply and those in Band C receive 12 to 16 hours daily.

Speaking on the power issue, Falana said the hike was imposed on the Nigerian government by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

He said, “The Minister of Power, Mr Adebayo Adelabu has failed to address the question of the illegality of the tariffs.

“Section 116 of the Electricity Act 2023 provides that before an increase can be approved and announced, there has to be a public hearing conducted based on the request of the Discos to have an increase in the electricity tariffs. That was not done.

“Secondly, neither the minister nor the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission has explained why the impunity that characterised the increase can be allowed.”

The renowned lawyer also expressed concern over what he described as impunity on the part of the FG and NERC, stressing their actions were not backed by laws.

He said, “I have already given a notice to the commission because these guys are running Nigeria based on impunity and we can not continue like this. Whence a country claims to operate under the rule of law, all actions of the government, and all actions of individuals must comply with the provisions of relevant laws.

“Secondly, the increase was anchored on the directives of the commission that customers in Band A will have an uninterrupted electricity supply for at least 20 hours a day. That directive has been violated daily. So, on what basis can you justify the increase in the electricity tariffs?”

Falana alleged that the Nigerian government is following the instructions handed down by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

“The Honourable Minister of Power is acting the script of the IMF and the World Bank.

“Those two agencies insisted and they continue to insist that the government of Nigeria must remove all subsidies. Fuel subsidy, electricity subsidy and what have you; all social services must be commercialised and priced beyond the reach of the majority of Nigerians.

“So, the government cannot afford to protect the interest of Nigerians where you are implementing the neoliberal policies of the Bretton Wood institutions,” he added.