Tariff Hike: FG Raising Funds for Cash-Strapped DisCos,  Falana Declares

.Threatens to seek redress in court 

Wale Igbintade

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana SAN yesterday said that with the recent hike in electricity tariff, the federal government is making Nigerians pay for the inefficiency of and incompetence of those managing the electricity sector in the country.

The senior lawyer argued that the federal government had already removed electricity subsidy in 2022, adding that the government was merely trying to raise funds for cash-strapped electricity distribution companies (DisCos).

According to Falana government needs to apologise to Nigerians for the mismanagement of the electricity sector.

Falana, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, said the recent tariff increase for Band A consumers by the government cannot be justified under the Electricity Act, 2023.

He said the federal government through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) plans to extend electricity tariff hike beyond Band A consumers to other Nigerians categorised under other bands.

Falana vowed to approach the courts to seek redress for Nigerians should government failed to yield to counsel.

He stated that 

He stated that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had on April 3, 2024 raised electricity tariff for customers enjoying 20 hours power supply daily, adding that customers in this category were said to be under the Band A classification. 

Falana said: “Under that law, there are certain steps to take and we are going to embark on those steps tomorrow (today) which is to raise serious objections with respect to the impunity that has characterised the recent increase.

“At the appropriate time if there is no response, we will have to go to court because the government had warned, the minister had warned that the increase this time around will only fetch the government or the discos N1.6 trillion whereas the destination is N3 trillion.

“So, the poor people that he (the minister) is talking about, the other bands, very soon, the government is going to extend the increases to them so that the N1.4 trillion the minister is talking about will be recovered.

“They (the government) are increasing tariff to assist the cash-strapped discos majority of which have now been taken over by the banks and AMCON, and the banks and AMCON have no competence to run electricity companies.”

Falana accused the government of being insensitive to the plight of Nigerians who are still grappling with the economical impact of petrol subsidy removal and the collapse of the foreign exchange windows, the two policies of the President Bola Tinubu administration which have resulted in unprecedented high cost of living.

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