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Court blocks NERC and KEDCO from implementing new electricity tariff

The Federal High Court sitting in Kano has issued an interim order restraining 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 franchise area.

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

However, on Thursday, Justice AM Liman of the Federal High Court in Kano granted the interim order in response to an ex parte motion filed by AB 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 prevented NERC and KEDCO from implementing the rate increase, which was scheduled to take effect this month, pending a hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

Additionally, the order prohibited the respondents from intimidating or threatening to disconnect the Applicants’ power supply for not accepting the new rate.

In a related development, the House of Representatives has asked NERC to suspend the implementation of the planned new electricity tariff across the country.

During the resumption of plenary on Tuesday, Kama Nkemkanma, a member representing Ivo/Ohaozara/Onicha Federal Constituency of Ebonyi State, expressed concern over the “sudden rise in electricity prices in Nigeria” and stressed the need for address key issues.

Following the adoption of the motion, the House directed NERC to suspend the implementation of the new tariff. It also resolved to create a special committee comprising its Committees on Energy, Commerce, Delegated Legislation and National Planning to organize a well-structured hearing on the regulation of the National Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

This will involve the Minister of Energy, Chairman and Commissioners of NERC, CEOs of all Electricity Companies in Nigeria, Chairman of the National Industrial Court, Trade Union Congress and leaders of Nigerian Chambers of Commerce.