I-WIN, an NGO, has called on electricity stakeholders in the country to adopt dialogue to resolve the recent contentious electricity tariff hike.
Mr Agbonna Onwumere, the spokesperson of the NGO, made the appeal in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
Onwumere was reacting to the Lagos Federal High Court judgment nullifying the increase on the electricity tariff increase announced by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) from Feb. 1.
The court on Wednesday described NERC’s decision to hike electricity tariff as “irrational, irregular and illegal”.
The court, therefore, directed the reversal of the electricity tariff and restrained the regulatory body from further tariff increment.
The increment generated mixed reactions from electricity stakeholders across the country, including the organised labour and electricity distribution companies.
In its reaction, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) lauded the decision of the court, describing it as a “judicial and courageous judgment”.
However, Neil Croucher, DisCos Chief Executive Officer, criticised the verdict, stating that they were yet to receive a copy of the judgment.
Croucher said they would appeal the judgment.
Mr Kola Adesina, Chairman Egbin Power Plc, also said that “electricity cannot be sold below its cost.
“If a product is being sold and everybody knows the cost of the product and somebody says no, make sure your price is less than the cost of production, the answer is obvious,” Kola said.
“The issue at hand is not an opinionated matter, what everybody must do at any point in time is to look at the consequences of the decision being taken.”
Onwumere observed that the judgement had a potential to hurt the Nigerian electricity market and the country’s economy.
The spokesman said: “This is yet another spanner in the works, not too long ago, the DisCos took NBET to court to restrain it from escrowing their accounts.”
He explained that reactions suggest that “the Nigerian electricity market seems to be an entity at war with itself with a seeming inability by key stakeholders to come together and resolve all lingering issues”.
According to him, with this type of situation, it becomes unthinkable to dream of attracting investors finance for the infrastructure improvement.