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Groups Petition UN Against Nigeria On Electricity Tariff

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The Nigerian Guild of Editors and other groups and individuals across the country have endorsed the petition sent by a coalition of civil society to Ms. Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights on the recently introduced electricity tariff.

Other groups that have endorsed the petition are the Gender and Constitution Reform Network, a coalition of over 250 women’s groups (GECORN); Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), and One Voice Nigeria, a coalition of civil society groups. Individuals that have backed the petition include: Femi Falana, SAN; Professor ‘Dejo Olowu of the North West University, South Africa; Victor Oladipupo Momodu; Tope Robert; John Collins; Onyedikachi Orizu; and Gbenro Adeoye.

The petition dated 6 September 2013 called on the UN to send an urgent appeal to the Federal Government to delay the increased fixed rate electricity tariff until the government is able to put in place mechanisms to ensure regular and uninterrupted electricity supply in the country.

Among other things, the petition is also demanding an impact assessment of the increase on people living in extreme poverty.

“By introducing fixed rate electricity tariff, the government is complicit in violating the human rights of people living in poverty and undermining their personal development and prosperity. We believe that it is premature for the government to increase electricity tariff prior to taking effective measures to guarantee and ensure regular and uninterrupted electricity supply across the country.”

The coalition also requested the Special Rapporteur to visit the country to “conduct an in-depth investigation into the effects of the increased electricity tariff on people living in poverty,” and to urge the government to “take all reasonable measures to protect, respect and fulfil the rights of people living in poverty and social exclusion across the country.”

Adetokunbo Mumuni, SERAP Executive Director said: “Endorsements to the petition are growing, and the Special Rapporteur is now dealing with the petition. We are very positive that the Special Rapporteur will take concrete action on the matter because it is in the interest of justice and fairness to do so. The petition is still opened for further endorsements by individuals and organizations and can be signed onto by sending an email to: info@serap-nigeria.org. Endorsements received will be forwarded to the UN.”

The petition was initially sent to the UN by: Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP); Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ); Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council; Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Lagos State branch; Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja branch; National Union of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE); and Joint Action Front (JAF).

Others are: Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC); Women Empowerment and Legal Aid Initiative (WELA); Partnership for Justice (PJ); Campaign for Democratic Workers (CDWR); Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM); Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), and Education Rights Campaign (ERC).

According to the coalition, “the introduction of a new electricity tariff by the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, not only risks violation of human rights under the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights but also exacerbates and perpetuates poverty for millions of Nigerians already vulnerable and marginalized and lack access to basic necessities.”

“We believe that the increased fixed rate electricity tariffs by over a hundred percent without corresponding increase in electricity supply target some of the most marginalised and impoverished members of Nigerian society, many of whom are struggling with basic living costs and without access to regular electricity,” the coalition argued.

The coalition expressed “serious concerns that increasing electricity tariffs by over 100% at a time power supply has not improved and indeed remains irregular will exacerbate the poverty level in the country and further perpetuate discrimination, inequalities and vulnerabilities thus contributing to violations of the human rights of the citizens. Also, while the government has increased electricity tariff, it has failed and/or neglected to investigate the spending and mismanagement of about $3.5 billion annually on power in the last 10 years.”

“The missing $16 billion meant for power projects has not been recovered and perpetrators have not been brought to justice. Yet, electricity infrastructure is epileptic, and lack of maintenance culture precipitated by greed and official corruption at the highest level of government have contributed to the poor electricity services in the country,” the coalition also argued.

The coalition argued that, “The increased tariffs violate the internationally recognized principles of non-discrimination, equal protection under the law, non-retrogression, and directly goes against the requirement of progressive realization of economic and social rights, including consumers’ rights. It also has a disparate impact on the ability of people living in poverty to enjoy the rights to equal housing, health and medical care and basic necessities of life, and thus violates the right to an effective remedy,” the coalition also said.

“The government has a responsibility to ensure that electricity services are progressively made available, on the basis of equality and non-discrimination, to the whole population, including those most disadvantaged, such as the fringe dwellers and the rural poor. The government cannot use the ‘privatization’ of the power sector as excuse for this discriminatory, unfair and unjust increase.”

“Under international law, both the process and the implementation of privatisation should be consistent with human rights. Therefore, the government is not relieved of its human rights responsibilities by privatising the provision of basic services such as electricity,” the coalition further argued.

The government recently confirmed that as many as 120 million Nigerians are currently without electricity. But under the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) regime, there would be increases in electricity tariff every year till 2016. The tariff schedule showed that the fixed cost will go up every year. The energy cost or cost per kilowatt-hour of electricity will also increase.

The increase means that electricity consumers would pay between N700 and N800 monthly – up from N500 – regardless of whether they make use of electricity for the period or not. The government has also confirmed that this increase is preparatory to the privatisation of 18 state-run power generation, distribution and transmission companies.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Godwin

    September 22, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Nawa for this Jonathan Govt ooo. Everything ℓ̊s just happening any how. Opened and forceful fraud all the times. Car Plate no fraud, perpetual increase I̶̲̥̅̊n̶̲̥̅̊ electricity tarrif without light, no attention T̶̲̥̅Ơ̴͡ education anymore and so many negative happenings up and down. How soon will 2015 come for this demon with good name T̶̲̥̅Ơ̴͡ be chased out like monkey? He has nothing T̶̲̥̅Ơ̴͡ offer and we are tired of his punishment from time T̶̲̥̅Ơ̴͡ time.

  2. bala ali

    September 22, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Where are the northerners? Can’t one groiup from the region join in the petition?

  3. Yinka4insight

    September 22, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Earn money every 30 minuite through E-currency exchange. visit my facebook wall for more info.

  4. Vivian

    September 23, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Please, I support the human rights group fully the Govt should not inflict more suffering on the poor citizens of this nation. They are suffering enough already….UN please help

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Several Injured As Thugs Attack #EndSARS Protesters, Governor Oyetola In Osun

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Several Injured As Thugs Attack #EndSARS Protesters, Governor Oyetola In Osun
Several Injured As Thugs Attack #EndSARS Protesters, Governor Oyetola In Osun

#EndSARS protesters in Osun

The Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola on Saturday, escaped an attack by thugs which happened while he was addressing #EndSARS protesters in Osogbo, the state capital.

Some of the vehicles in the Governor’s convoy were also destroyed by the thugs but the Governor himself was evacuated to safety by his security team.

Also Read: #EndSARS: Hold Enugu State Govt Responsible If Anything Happens To Us – Phyno, Kcee, Zoro

As the convoy was leaving the protest venue, some of the youths continued to stone his vehicles.

While the protest was disrupted, Governor Oyetola assured the injured victims that the government would be responsible for their medical bills.

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#EndSARS: Sanwo-Olu Constitutes Panel Of Enquiry

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#EndSARS: Sanwo-Olu Constitutes Panel Of Enquiry
#EndSARS: Sanwo-Olu Forms Panel Of Enquiry

Babajide Sanwo-Olu

In a bid to quell the #EndSARS protest which is spreading like a raging inferno across the country, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State has set up a panel of inquiry and restitution for victims of SARS.

This was announced in a statewide broadcast on Thursday.

The panel will be a 7-man panel which will ensure that all those with verifiable cases of SARS brutality or fatality receive compensation.

Also Read: BREAKING: EndSARS: Gov Sanwo-Olu reveals identities of policemen who harassed protesters

The Panel will be chaired by retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, while members are Ebun Adegboruwa, SAN (representing the Civil Society), Taiwo Lakanu (a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police), Patience Udoh (representing the Civil Society); Segun Awosanya aka Segalink (Human Rights Activist).

Others are Olutoyin Odusanya (Director, Citizens Mediation Center), a rep/member of the youth-led protest, and a representative of the Human Rights Commission.

There will be a help desk for the complaints and petitions to the panel.

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Governor Seyi Makinde Loses 81-Yr-Old Mother

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Governor Seyi Makinde Loses 81-Yr-Old Mother
Seyi Makinde

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde

Abigail Makinde, the mother of the governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, is dead.

The Chief Press Secretary to Mr Makinde, Taiwo Adisa, however, told newsmen that the family will soon make an official statement on the death of the deceased.

He said: “Yes. The family will make an official statement.

“The family will soon make an official statement. In the next few minutes, the family will make an official statement, in few minutes.”

It was gathered that Mr Makinde lost his father, Olatunbosun Makinde, a few years ago.

It was learnt that Mrs Makinde died in the early hours of Thursday.

She died at the age of 81.

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