Hikes in electricity tariffs and fuel price unfair, unjust, says SERAP

*Says price hikes lacking in compassion, will hit poorest, most vulnerable Nigerians the hardest, increase inequality levels

*Vows to challenge the ‘travesty’ in court, if Federal Government does not immediately drop ‘retrogressive measures’ against Nigerian consumers

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In its response to the recent increases in electricity tariffs and petrol pump price for consumers in Nigeria, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has condemned the development, describing it as “patently unfair and arbitrary”.

Mr. Kolawole Oluwadare, Deputy Director of SERAP, in a statement Wednesday said: “This is unjust to many people living in extreme poverty, and entirely incompatible with the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended) and the country’s international human rights obligations.

“The hike will endanger lives and increase inequality and poverty exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“SERAP will challenge this travesty in court if the Federal Government does not immediately drop these retrogressive measures against the Nigerian people.

Kolawole stated that the increase in electricity tariff and fuel price clearly violates Nigeria’s obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

According to SERAP, Nigeria is a state party to the convention refraining it not to take “ ‘deliberately retrogressive measures’ unless there are no alternative options and full consideration has been given to ensure that the measures are necessary and proportionate.”

The organisation,, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately drop the misguided hike, and to establish independent impact assessment of the increases on the poorest segments of society.

The group as well urged President Buhari to identify alternative measures, such as cutting the bogus allowances of people in the Presidency and members of the National Assembly.

The statement further stressed: “The hike is lacking in compassion, as it will hit the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians the hardest, increase inequality levels in an already very unequal Nigeria.

“It definitively signals that socio-economic rights are a very low priority for this government.

“President Buhari should reconsider these arbitrary measures and put human rights at the centre of his government’s policies.”

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