45 per cent hike in electricity tariffs will violate UN ruling, SERAP tells Fashola
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has advised Minister of Power, Mr. Babatunde Fashola to “ensure that regulatory authorities are not allowed to get away with 45 percent increase in electricity tariffs by promoting compliance with the November 2013 ruling on the matter by two UN special rapporteurs.”
This followed a nationwide protest on Monday by the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress against the increase in electricity tariffs, demanding an immediate reversal of the hike. In a statement today signed by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni the organisation said, “Nigeria is an important member of the UN and have voluntarily accepted its Charter and treaties.
Therefore, any effort to increase electricity tarrifs should be guided by the recommendations by the UN and dialogue with organised labour and other stakeholders.” NLC protest electricity tariff hike in Abuja The organisation noted that “The United Nations published the Joint Letter of Concern sent to the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan in which they expressed concerns that “access to electricity (and regularity of supply) is a significant problem in Nigeria,” and raised eight questions for the government to answer within 60 days.”
The letter with reference No NGA 5/2013 and dated 26 November 2013, and signed by two special rapporteurs expressed concerns that “at the end of 2012, Nigeria with a population of about 160 million people only generated about 4,000 megawatts of electricity, which is ten times less than some other countries in the region with less population.” The UN special rapporteurs argued that “all beneficiaries of the right to adequate housing should have sustainable access to energy for cooking, heating and lighting. The failure of States to provide basic services such as electricity is a violation of the right to health.” Protest in Lagos yesterday.
The rapporteurs Ms. Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona, Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights and Ms. Raquel Rolnik Special Rapporteur on adequate housing sent the letter following a petition lodged last year by a coalition of human rights activists, labour, journalists and lawyers led by SERAP. The petition alleged that increase in electricity tarrifs would “have detrimental impact on the human rights of those living in poverty in the country.”