Rights advocacy group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has sued the Federal Government over the failure to provide prepaid electricity meters to Nigerians.
The group is seeking the leave of the Federal High Court in Lagos to apply for a mandamus order against the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
SERAP claimed that Fashola had failed or neglected to enforce the Federal Government’s directive to electricity distribution companies to provide Nigerians with prepaid meters.
The group contended that this failure had given room for the electricity distribution companies to continue to fleece Nigerians by issuing “illegal, arbitrary, unfair and discriminatory estimated billing across the country.”
The group stated, “By failing and/or neglecting to enforce his directives to the DISCOs, Fashola is implicitly promoting the use of unjustifiable estimated billing, and increasing consumer costs.
“The use of estimated billing is marginalising Nigerians living in extreme poverty, disproportionately affecting women, children and the elderly, and increasing their vulnerability to discrimination.
“Fashola’s constitutional and statutory responsibility is not just to give directives to the 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 Fashola, and he cannot shy away from it.”
SERAP argued that unless the reliefs it sought were granted, Fashola and the Federal Government would not perform their constitutional and statutory responsibilities to enforce the directives to the 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 provision of free prepaid meters to all Nigerians, and an end to estimated billing,” the group argued.