Human Rights Lawyer Supports Planned Picketing Over Electricity Tariff Hike

Renowned human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has thrown his support behind the impending picketing of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) headquarters and Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) offices across the nation. This move comes in response to the recent hike in electricity tariff, sparking outrage among organized labor groups.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) had issued a stern ultimatum to NERC, demanding a reversal of the tariff hike to N65/kwh by May 12. Failure to comply would result in widespread picketing of commission and DISCO offices nationwide, as outlined in a joint warning letter signed by NLC President Joe Ajaero and TUC counterpart Festus Osifo.

Falana, speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today, lent legal backing to the planned picketing, citing provisions within Nigeria’s Labour Act. He emphasized that NERC had bypassed due process and neglected stakeholder engagement before implementing the unpopular tariff increase.

Highlighting the failure of DISCOs to meet electricity supply expectations, Falana questioned the justification for tariff hikes in the absence of improved service delivery. He criticized the privatization of the electricity sector, noting its apparent failure and suggesting government intervention to rectify the situation.

Drawing attention to Section 116 of the Electricity Act 2023, Falana stressed the necessity of justifying tariff hikes with tangible improvements in service provision. He denounced the unfairness of expecting citizens to pay for electricity amidst persistent power outages, calling for a reevaluation of the privatization strategy.


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