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Press Briefing on Reversal of Existing Electricity Tariff Regime

Text of press briefing addressed by the Acting Chairman/CEO, Dr. Anthony Akah, mni, on the judgement of the Federal Court, Lagos, reversing the existing electricity tariff regime

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press.

The Commission is aware of the judgement delivered on Wednesday July 13, 2016 at the Federal High Court in Lagos, by His Lordship Mohammed Idris in the matter. His Lordship in the judgement declared the electricity tariff regime which became operational on February 1, 2016 as illegal.

The Commission respects this decision of the Court but we are dissatisfied because it represents the reversal of the commercial foundation upon which contracts for gas, hydro, coal and solar feedstock for the production of electricity have been predicated. The ultimate destination of a commercialised electricity market is to achieve stability and adequacy in the supply of electricity to satisfy the yearning of Nigerians for adequate, safe and reliable electricity supply.

This judgement, in our view, is a setback to the progress made so far in the electricity sector. Therefore, we will challenge this decision. We have instructed our lawyer to appeal. Consequently, the Commission has filed for stay of execution and a notice of appeal of the judgement yesterday.

We understand that private power production and distribution is a relatively new in Nigeria and that development such as this court ruling must be seen in that context as the laws begin to face judicial tests of interpretations. We believe that ultimately everybody and all institutions will come to better understanding of the values of the choice we have made as a nation to privatise the power sector.

Therefore we ask the investors, as well as the customers in the electricity market not to panic as we seek a resolution within the ambit of the established laws. The Commission remain committed to continuously provide the right regulatory framework that would promote private sector investment in the electricity supply industry and also protect the interest of the electricity customers as enshrined in the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005.

Thank you.