NERC to collaborate with stakeholders on power supply
Commissioner in charge of Legal, Licensing and Compliance, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dafe Akpeneye, said the commission is ready to partner state governments and other stakeholders in line with the new act to ensure uninterrupted power supply. He made this known at the NERC stakeholder’s workshop in Lagos, noting that Nigeria is yet to meet adequate supply,
“There is a cost to electricity, and we have not yet made the commensurate investment in the sector to give us adequate supply, NERC’s principle has always been that we will partner with any State or anybody that achieves the common goal of ensuring that the lights stay on,” he said
The 2023 Electricity Act empowers NERC to have a continuing responsibility to monitor the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) regarding its potential for additional competition.
According to the Act, NERC must ensure the prevention or mitigation of abuses of market power, which includes market concentration.The commission said there is no intention to ‘central control’ everything, noting that the regulator is aware of what the new Act entails, adding that it is geared towards improving service to the consumers and increasing investment.
Vice Chairman/Commissioner of Market, Competition and Rates, NERC Musiliu Oseni, said only 53 per cent of available electricity capacity is utilised in the country due to challenges with the gas supply, transmission and distribution constraints and commercial challenges.
“Power is the engine to growth everywhere but there must be orderliness, we can work with states within existing legal frameworks and even if they set up additional legislation,” he said.
The commission stressed that after reviewing the cost implication, states will decide how they want to work together, noting that it will not be a one shoe size fits all approach, but based on what they can sustain.
Reacting to the collaboration, Principal Action Coordinator, Joint Action Platform for Electricity Consumers Rights, Ayodele Olawoye, told The Guardian that state monopoly of the electricity power sector should not be allowed to avoid being in the present situation.
He also urged the commission not to be decentralized, though the rate can’t be uniform because the source of production may differ
“Apart from the state freedom to generate, transmit and distribute, it will still not be to the advantage of electricity consumers to allow for a state monopoly of the electricity power supply industry, others must be allowed,” he said.
Commissioner, of Consumer Affairs, NERC, Aisha Mahmud, said implementation of the Act would not be a walk in the park.
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