Stakeholders in the electricity industry have been asked to maintain current prices pending the determination of a motion challenging the proposed tariff hike.
This Day reports that the order was given on Tuesday, January 7, by the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
According to the report, the judge made the order in a suit by the incorporated trustees of human rights foundation against 15 respondents in the electricity industry.
The respondents in the suit include: Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC); the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE); the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company Plc; and the Minister of Power.
Also joined as respondents are Abuja, Benin, Enugu, Ikeja, Kaduna, Kano, Port Harcourt, Yola, Eko, Ibadan and Jos electricity distribution companies.
The NERC announced on January 4, that electricity tariffs being paid by consumers would increase in April. In its suit, the non-governmental organisation filed an ex parte motion praying the court to stop the proposed over 40 per cent increase in electricity tariff.
The applicants contended that “the implementation of the purported minor review of the Multi-Year Tariff Order will create unquantifiable hardship and damages on the Nigerian electricity consumers.
“Consumers will be made to pay very high tariff, which has been increased by over 40 per cent across the board of which is currently being billed.”
In an affidavit deposed to by Theodora Ubabunike, a lawyer, the human rights group said: “It will amount to a great injustice to impose arbitrary electricity tariff on Nigerian electricity consumers.
Nigerians will suffer monumental loss as many people will not be able to access power or access same at very high tariff. I know that Nigerians are entitled to access public amenities like electrical power.”