Court Stops DisCos, NERC From Hiking Electricity Tariff

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A high court in Lagos has issued an interim order preventing ten electricity distribution companies (DisCos) and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) from increasing tariffs. Presiding Judge Lewis Allagoa granted the ex parte order on June 10, following a suit filed by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).

The suit, marked FHC/L/CS/881/2024, lists several DisCos, including Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) and Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), as respondents. The court ordered the respondents to maintain the current electricity tariff and refrain from taking any actions, such as disconnecting power supply, until the motion is determined.

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria requested the court to restrain the DisCos and the NERC from implementing the proposed tariff hike, arguing it would be detrimental to businesses. Despite the court’s ruling, customers are still required to pay their electricity bills at the old rate. The tariff increase, announced by the NERC in April, set rates at N225 per kilowatt for customers receiving 20 hours of electricity daily.

The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, defended the hike, citing the government’s inability to continue subsidizing power. However, the decision has faced significant opposition from stakeholders and labor unions, who argue that the increased tariffs are unsustainable. This legal intervention reflects broader discontent within the industry and among consumers. The matter has been adjourned to June 24 for a hearing, where further deliberations will take place to resolve the contentious issue of electricity pricing in Nigeria.

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