Electricity: Court stops DisCos, NERC from hiking tariff

A High Court in Lagos has issued an interim order preventing 10 electricity distribution companies (DisCos) and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) from increasing tariffs.

Presiding Judge Lewis Allagoa granted the ex parte order on Monday, June 10.

According to court documents, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) is the applicant in the suit, which is marked FHC/L/CS/881/2024.

DisCos, which are the first respondents include the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC), and Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KAEDC).

Additionally, the Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDC), Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JEDC), Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC), and Yola Electricity Distribution Company (YEDC) are also among the respondents.

The court document states that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is the second respondent in the suit.

Applicant requested that DisCos and the electricity regulatory body maintain the current electricity tariff.

After carefully considering the application and the applicant’s submissions, the court ordered that the respondents be restrained from taking any further steps, including disconnecting power supply, pending the determination of the motion in this matter.

“That the order is without prejudice to the obligation of the plaintiff from paying their electricity bill at the old rate,” the court said.

The Commission announced that in April, customers in the category receiving 20 hours of electricity supply daily would begin paying N225 per kilowatt (kW).

In defense of this decision, the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, stated that the federal government could no longer afford to pay subsidies on power, necessitating the tariff hike.

However, stakeholders and organised labour unions have called for a reversal of the hike, arguing that it is unsustainable.

As a result, the matter has been adjourned to Monday, June 24 for a hearing.

In April, the NERC approved an increase in electricity tariffs for customers under the band A classification.

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