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Don faults FG on direct sale of electricity to end-users

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Minister of Works, Power and Housing Babatunde Fashola

A Professor of Energy and Electricity Law, Yemi Oke has, faulted the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola’s decision to break the monopoly of power distribution being enjoyed by the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).

Fashola had given power Generating Companies (GenCos), the freedom to sell generated power directly to four categories of end users effective from May 15th apparently to halt the problems associated with going through the DisCos.

Oke said that even though it is right, it was ill-timed considering the fact that the minister had not been favourably disposed to what the DisCos are doing, most especially their umbrella association, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED).

In a statement, he said: “The Minister of Power got it wrong in declaring that certain categories of ‘Eligible Consumers’ may buy power directly from Gencos.

“This would appear to us industry experts, to be in bad faith due to his misgivings with ANED/Discos and might do more harm than good, at least due to its timing. The way to go for sure, but the timing is ill motivated.

The whole of Part II (Sections 25-30) deals with “Development of a Competitive Electricity Market”. S. 27 merely provides for Eligible Consumers but its operationalisation is subject to Section 24(3) and the entire provisions of Part II of the EPSR should be read conjunctively, and not effectuate only Section 27 disjunctively and in isolation.

“The law is clear, and should not be read up-side down. Unless the Minister first declares Competitive Electricity Market in the way and manner provided by law, S. 27 will be meaningless.”

Announcing the ‘eligible customers’ regime, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), in a statement cited the provisions of Section 27 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005 (EPSRA), and explained that it represented a major policy directive, which now grants electricity consumers under this category the right to buy power directly from Gencos almost unhindered.



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