A group, the All Electricity Consumers Protection Forum, said on Tuesday that it would oppose the proposed hike in electricity tariffs because it would further impoverish Nigerians.
The National Coordinator, Mr Adeola Samuel-Ilori told newsmen in Lagos that the group was exploring legal options even though NERC had decided to engage with stakeholders pending the hike.
“We will resist the increment because it will further impoverish Nigerians and most certainly we are going to court over it.
“We are going to seek for an injunction against it from a competent court of jurisdiction.
“One of the grounds for our reliefs is that it is not yet five years since the last Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) was implemented which was in February 2016.
“Secondly, many consumers still buy transformers and line materials which are supposed to be purchased by the Distribution Companies (DisCos).
“The third ground is efficiency. Going by Section 76 (I) (2) of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005, the law says each licensee must have solved the issue of efficiency.
“We are currently generating not more than 5,000 Megawatts and how can that be called efficiency when it is being supplied to about 200 million Nigerians by the eleven DisCos?
“So, it is on these premises that we are going to approach the court and our legal team has already started the processes.’’
Samuel-Ilori, also a legal practitioner, said that the group would, however, continue to engage NERC through letters on why the increment was not feasible at this point in time.
Newsmen report that NERC had on Jan. 4 published new tariffs for the different DisCos and categories of customers on its website which was signed by its chairman and Secretary Prof. James Momoh and Dafe Akpeneye respectively.
The commission said that the order super-ceded the earlier one issued on the subject matter, and “the new tariff regime takes effect from Jan. 1, 2020.’’
NERC noted that the order had taken into consideration other actual changes in relevant macroeconomic variables and available generation capacity as at Oct. 31, 2019.
The commission said the order was in line with updating of the MYTO operating -2015 Tariff Order for 2019.
According to NERC, this is in line with provisions of the amended MYTO Methodology.
“Projections are made for the variables for year 2020 and beyond based on the best available information.
“The commission, however, based adjustments in the tariff on the relevant data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) such as average monthly inflation rate of 11.3 per cent, exchange rate of N309.97.’’
It said that projections are made for the variables for Year 2020 and beyond based on the best available information.