The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has condemned “the patently unfair and arbitrary hike in electricity tariff and fuel price by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. 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.”
Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP’s Deputy Director, said this in a statement on Tuesday.
The statement said: “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.
“Specifically, the increase in electricity tariff and fuel price clearly violates Nigeria’s obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which the country is a state party, 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.
“SERAP urges President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately drop the misguided hike, and to establish independent impact assessment of the increases on the poorest segments of society, and to identify alternative measures, such as cutting the bogus allowances of people in the Presidency and members of the National Assembly.
“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.”