Economic Hardship: Court Stops NERC, KEDCO From Implementing New Electricity Tariff  


May 3, 2024

The Federal High Court sitting in Kano has issued an interim order stopping the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) from implementing a new increased electricity tariff for Band A consumers in the DisCo’s franchise area.


NERC had recently mandated electricity distribution companies to charge Band A consumers higher tariffs to ensure a stable power supply for those who are able to afford it. However, many Nigerians criticised NERC for migrating most consumers to Band A while still experiencing unstable electricity supply.


However, Justice A.M. Liman of the Federal High Court in Kano, on Thursday, granted the interim order in response to an ex-parte motion brought by A.B. Mahmoud, SAN, representing Super Sack Company Limited, BBY Sacks Limited, Mama Sannu Industries Limited, Dala Foods Nigeria Limited, Tofa Textile Limited, and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Limited (MAN), all as Applicants.


The ruling restrained NERC and KEDCO from implementing the tariff increase, which was scheduled to take effect this month, pending a hearing and determination of the motion on notice.


Additionally, the order prohibited the defendants from intimidating or threatening to disconnect the Applicants’ electricity supply for non-acceptance of the new tariff.


In a related development, the House of Representatives has called on NERC to suspend the implementation of the planned new electricity tariff nationwide.


During the resumption of plenary on Tuesday, Kama Nkemkanma, a member representing Ivo/Ohaozara/Onicha Federal Constituency of Ebonyi State, raised concerns over the “sudden hike in electricity prices in Nigeria” and emphasised the need to address key issues.


Following the adoption of the motion, the House ordered NERC to suspend the operation of the new tariff. It also resolved to set up a special committee comprising its Committees on Power, Commerce, Delegated Legislation, and National Planning to organise a well-structured hearing on the regulation of the National Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).


This will involve the Minister of Power, NERC Chairman and Commissioners, CEOs of all electricity utilities in Nigeria, the President of the National Industrial Court, Trade Union Congress, and leaders of Nigerian chambers of commerce.

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