A Federal High Court in Lagos has adjourned till November 24, 2015, a suit challenging the proposed increment in electricity tariff.
A Lagos-based lawyer, Toluwani Adebiyi, instituted the action in May, following the announcement of the proposed hike by the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi.
Adebiyi is praying the court to stop any hike in electricity tariff until there has been a meaningful and significant improvement in power supply to, at least, 18 hours in a day in most Nigerian communities.
Justice Mohammed Idris had on May 28, 2015, restrained NERC from giving effect to the proposed hike pending the determination of the suit.
The order subsists and it is still in force, the court having on July 23, 2015 dismissed for being incompetent, an application filed by NERC to discharge the interim order.
Last week Wednesday, Justice Idris granted an application by some electricity distribution companies in the country to join the suit as co-defendants.
Those joined are Abuja Electricity Distribution Company; Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company; Eko Electricity Distribution Company; Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company; and Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company.
Others include Kano Electricity Distribution Company; Jos Electricity Distribution Company; Benin Electricity Distribution Company; Enugu Electricity Distribution Company; Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company and Yola Electricity Distribution Company.
The applicant is contending that the move by NERC to increase electricity tariff in the country would “foist further hardship on Nigerians.”
According to him, any such increment in electricity tariff was unjustifiable in the face of poor or erratic supply of electricity by the distributing companies.
Among other things, the applicant is also asking the court to mandate the NERC to make available to all Nigerians, prepaid meters within a maximum time frame of two years.