NBA Calls For Abolition Of Fuel Sibsidy, Fixed Charge

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The Nigerian Bar Asso
ciation (NBA) has lent its voice to the call for abolition of fixed charge being charged consumers by Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) in Nigeria, saying it is illegal.
The association said the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (NERC’s) policy on maintenance fees charged on meters amount to oppressive multiple taxation and should therefore be discontinued.
It also called for abolition of oil subsidy policy in view of the huge corruption in the process and suggested transparent harnessing and deployment of the nation’s resources.
In a communiqué issued Friday at the end of NBA’s 55th annual conference in Abuja, the body promised to partner with the government in the fight against corruption for national development.
“Critical to national development is the removal of fuel subsidy as it is one of the aggravating factors in corruption in that sector apart from the potential for national development thus afforded,  if funds thus freed up are duly harnessed”, it said.
The communiqué further called for prompt passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in view of its critical importance for nation’s development and stressed the need for major review to include the removal of clauses that tend to delimit the rights of the access to the courts by citizens who are negatively affected by petroleum operations, reduce the wide and overriding powers of the minister.
It stated that, “oil companies causing environmental degradation shall in addition to fines imposed by government pay a fair, full and adequate compensation to any persons aggrieved as determined by a judge sitting in the jurisdiction of injury whether state or federal, provided that the sum payable shall be as determined by an advisory adhoc  multi-disciplinary college of referees appointed by the judge comprising toxicologists, surveyors and valuers whose fees shall be charged to the polluters.”