Thursday, 27 March 2014

The failure of FG to provide electricity is a violation of the right to health- UN to Presidency!

The United Nations has published the ‘Joint Letter of Concern’ sent to President Goodluck Jonathan in which it expressed concerns that “access to electricity is a significant problem in Nigeria.

It raised eight questions for the government to answer within 60 days but four months on, no reply had come, Premium Times reported.
The letter, with reference number NGA 5/2013, dated November 26, 2013 and signed by two special rapporteurs, expressed concerns that “at the end of 2012, Nigeria with a population of about 160 million people only generated about 4,000 megawatts of electricity, which is 10 times less than some other countries in the region with less population.”

“To date, the government has not responded to the eight crucial questions raised by the UN on the unfair and discriminatory electricity tariff,” said Adetokunbo Mumuni, Executive Director, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Projects (SERAP).

The UN special rapporteurs argued that “all beneficiaries of the right to adequate housing should have sustainable access to energy for cooking, heating and lighting. The failure of the states to provide basic services such as electricity is a violation of the right to health.”

The rapporteurs: Ms. Magdalena Carmona, Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights and Ms. Raquel Rolnik Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, sent the letter following a petition lodged last year by a coalition of human rights activists, labour, journalists and lawyers led by SERAP.
The petition alleged that the implementation of the Multi-Year Tariff Order II (MYTO II) by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is “having detrimental impact on the human rights of those living in poverty in the country.”

The MYTO II provides a 15-year tariff path for the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.

They also said that, “less than 50 per cent of registered electricity customers have access to electricity meters, and ongoing inaccuracies in measuring electricity usage will continue to hinder fair electricity access and exchange.”

They wanted answers to the alleged “mismanagement throughout the privatization process, and around 3.5 billion USD that has been mismanaged annually over the last ten years, and a total of 16 billion USD released to improve electricity supply in the country that has not been properly accounted for.

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