A non government organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued the Federal Government and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), over what it has described as “their collective failure, refusal and negligence to enforce their own directives to electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) to provide free prepaid meters to all Nigerians”.
The government has also been accused of “not ending the use of patently illegal, arbitrary, unfair and discriminatory estimated billings across the country”.
In the law suit filed at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, SERAP accused the Minister of Power, Mr Babatunde Fashola of promoting the practice of estimated billing by the DISCOs which in turn increases consumer costs.
The Ministry of Power had earlier issued directives through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to electricity distribution companies to provide free prepaid meters to customers.
SERAP is now seeking an order of the court that will compel the government to enforce this directive although no date has been fixed for hearing of the law suit.
“Mr Fashola’s constitutional and statutory responsibility is not just to give directives to DISCOs to provide free prepaid meters to all Nigerians but also to decisively enforce such directives and end the use of estimated billing.
“Effective access to electricity includes metering of all consumers. It is the responsibility of the Federal Government which has been assigned to Mr Fashola, and he cannot shy away from it.
“SERAP further argues that, unless the reliefs sought are granted, Mr Fashola and the Federal Government will not perform their constitutional and statutory responsibilities to enforce the directives to DISCOs to provide free prepaid meters to all Nigerians.
“It is in the interest of justice to ensure strict enforcement of directives, deadlines and regulations on the provision of free pre-paid meters to all Nigerians, and an end to estimated billing,” the agency said in a statement by its Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale.