SERAP accuses FG of violating UN ruling on electricity tariff

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja

 

A group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has accused the Federal Government of violating two United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs rulings delivered November 2013.

 

The organisation noted the nationwide protest embarked upon last Monday by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) against the increase in electricity tariffs, demanding an immediate reversal of the hike.

 

Appraising the development, the group advised the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, 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 2013 ruling on the matter by two UN special rapporteurs.

 

SERAP, in a statement issued on Tuesday signed by its Executive Director, Mr. Adetokunbo Mumuni said, “Nigeria being is an important member of the UN and have voluntarily accepted its Charter and treaties. Therefore, any effort to increase electricity tariffs should be guided by the recommendations by the UN and dialogue with organised labour and other stakeholders.”

 

The organisation recalled that the UN published a joint letter of Concern sent to former President Goodluck Jonathan in which they expressed concerns that access to electricity (and regularity of supply) is a problem in Nigeria and had then raised eight questions for the government to answer within 60 days.

 

The letter, reference No NGA 5/2013 dated November 26, 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 further 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.” 

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