Reverse Electricity Tariff Hike Now- SERAP To FG
President Muhammadu Buhari has been requested to quickly reverse the allegedly illegal, unfair, and arbitrary increase in the price of electricity that took place in December 2022 by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP).
Fidel Info reports that In order to reverse the tarrif with immediate effect, SERAP requested that Buhari instruct the Minister of Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba, and the Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Professor James Momoh.
“You should ensure the investigation of the spending of public funds as investments and bailouts by successive governments to electricity distribution companies (DisCos) and generating companies (GenCos) since 2005, and prosecution of cases of corruption and mismanagement,” the organization urged.
The proposal came after the Nigerian Energy Regulatory Commission (NERC) reportedly approved an increase in electricity rates for all DisCos in the nation in December 2022.
According to reports, a number of prepaid consumers have confirmed the rise. The rise has not been confirmed or denied by either the NERC or the Minister of Power.
The organization claimed in the letter published over the weekend by SERAP Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare that the rise in electricity prices would make the country’s terrible poverty worse and make it harder for millions of Nigerians to meet their most basic necessities.
SERAP said, “the increase in electricity tariff failed to follow due process. It is entirely inconsistent and incompatible with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended], the Electric Power Sector Reform Act and the country’s international human rights obligations.
According to SERAP, “Millions of Nigerians continue to live in darkness despite the spending by successive governments of trillions of naira as investments and bailouts to electricity companies.
The letter, read in part: “The increase is unjustified, especially given the unreliable, inefficient and poor quality of electricity in the country. Rather than providing electricity discounts to poor Nigerians, successive governments continue to give bailouts to electricity companies.”
“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”
“Your government should have used the report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which shows damning revelations that some 133 million Nigerians are poor as a basis to improve access to regular electricity supply, and extend electricity to remote rural households.”
“The latest increase in electricity tariff is coming on the heels of the NBC report which shows that over half of the population of Nigeria are multidimensionally poor and cook with dung, wood or charcoal, rather than clean energy. High deprivations also apparent nationally in sanitation, time to healthcare, food insecurity, and housing.”
“The hike in tariff would increase financial burdens for socially and economically vulnerable Nigerians and further marginalize and disproportionately affect them, and exacerbate their vulnerability to discrimination.”
“The failure of successive governments and high-ranking government officials to prevent widespread and systematic corruption in the electricity sector and to bring suspected perpetrators to justice is the primary cause of the exploitation of electricity consumers.”
“Investigating the spending of investments and bailouts by successive governments in DISCOS and prosecuting anyone suspected of corruption and mismanagement of public funds, and recovering any proceeds of crime would end a culture of impunity in the power sector, and improve access to and affordability of electricity in Nigeria.”
“Successive governments have failed to increase power generation and provide Nigerians with regular and uninterrupted electricity supply, with many electricity contracts shrouded in secrecy, and trillions of Naira going down the drain.”
“Your government also has legal obligations to ensure that socially and economically vulnerable Nigerians including the 133 million the NBC documents as poor enjoy non-discriminatory access to basic household services including electricity.”
BREAKING: “Fuel Subsidy Is Gone” – Tinubu Declares After Inauguration
President Bola Tinubu has declared that fuel subsidy is now a thing of the past under his administration.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that the president made the declaration during his inaugural speech at Eagle Square on Monday.
Furthermore, President Tinubu vowed to address concerns regarding multiple taxations, a move aimed at stimulating the economy and attracting investments.
Setting ambitious targets, the president articulated his administration’s goal of achieving a minimum Gross Domestic Profit growth rate of 6%.
Radiating unwavering confidence in the Nigerian people, Tinubu pledged to embrace the sacred mandate bestowed upon him, underscoring the nation’s exceptionalism and indomitable resolve to fulfil its destined path.
Despite enduring formidable challenges that would have tested the mettle of any nation, Tinubu extolled Nigeria’s resilience and urged the preservation and advancement of the progress made by preceding generations.
“We must never allow the sacrifices of our predecessors to be in vain,” affirmed Tinubu. “Instead, let us nurture their legacy and strive to forge a brighter and more prosperous reality for our beloved nation.”
Shettima reveals two decisions Tinubu will make when he becomes president
The vice president-elect, Kashim Shettima, has said removing petrol subsidy and removing multiple exchange rate systems are two challenges that will pose an initial challenge to the incoming administration.
Shettima stated this while speaking at the public lecture and Juma’at prayer on Friday held at the National Mosque in Abuja.
He warned that the take-off point of Bola Tinubu’s administration might be rough.
“Be rest assured that in the fullness of time, Nigeria will pay glowing tributes to us. The starting point might not be rosy, let me be very honest with you.
“Oil subsidy is an albatross on our neck, the multiple exchange rate system is a drain on the national economy.
“There are certain decisions the president-elect will take, but in the fullness of time, Nigerians will not only appreciate, but also celebrate us,” Shettima said
Naira faces downside risks, slumps to N760/$ at black market
Four days before the inauguration of a new administration, naira seems to have lost its long-standing N750/$ resistance as it dipped to N760/$ yesterday.
The market may have started pricing in uncertainty risk that comes with a change of national economic managers. Some dealers told The Guardian yesterday that there has been a surge in the demand for foreign exchange (FX) since the beginning of the week, though they could not justify the sudden spike.
But further market intelligence suggests a comeback of high-ticket transactions to the black market. Sources linked the surge to next week’s inaugurations across the country.
The Guardian, however, could not independently confirm that the large volume of transactions is coming from the political circle. Previously, past governors and lawmakers had allegedly fled the country with ill-gotten wealth immediately after the end of their tenures for fear of being arrested by anti-corruption agencies.
President Muhammadu Buhari will leave office on Monday alongside 44 ministers and retinue of aides who have held on to power in the past eight years.
Across the country, 18 governors will also hand over the batons of the political leadership of their states beginning next week as their successors take the oaths of office.
Members of the National Assembly and 36 parliaments will also be inaugurated days after the executives take over the reins of office. Some of the outgoing public officials (some of who are covered by the immunity clause), The Guardian was informed, are on the watch of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
A source privy to details of some of the investigations said the EFCC is reviewing dossiers of petitions, some of which may be politically motivated, and that some governors may have been under close watch.
“Whether there are petitions is not a question but how many of them are viable? If you understand the number of public officials that are leaving office soon, you will be surprised that there is so much jittery in the political space,” the source said.
Dating back to the pre-election era, the pages of newspapers are rife with accusations and counter-accusations of fraud and misappropriation of public resources. Different officials have also been involved in phony projects to have been conduits of siphoning state resources.
This is not the first time naira would lose its hold ahead of the inauguration. The 2015 foreign exchange rate crisis pre-dated the general elections but spiked weeks before the inauguration of the Buhari administration, raising concern about the correlation between dollar scarcity and the winding down of subsisting administration.
On Monday morning, naira traded around N735/$ but started loosening its hold at the close of the day. As of press time, it had lost close to four per cent week-to-date (WTD). Except for the growing demand ease, the local currency faces more downside risk
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