|Dr. Anthony Akah
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), says the challenges facing the power sector in Nigeria is the lack of access to liquidity to promote investment in the sector.
The Acting Chairman of NERC, Dr Anthony Akah made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.
His words, “There is no doubt that every country has challenges and the power sector in Nigeria has its own challenges, and one of the challenges that we have is the issue of funding.”
Akah said that investment in the power sector required a huge amount of fund, noting that the non-availability of adequate fund constituted a hurdle to the speedy development of the sector.
According to him, in a bid to enforce the standard in the industry, NERC was ensuring that all players stick to the specified rules and regulation governing the sector in Nigeria.
He said, “We need to make sure that we rightly price tariff and also make sure that there is a market discipline that the companies play according to the rules.
He added, “We need to make sure that we increase monitoring mechanism to ensure that all the players adhere, or we have them sanctioned.”
He said that NERC was guiding against the abuse of market power by stakeholders in the value chain.
Akah said that the commission as the sector regulator was also ensuring that consumers get the right value for the tariff paid on electricity.
He said the commission was also developing the best regulatory framework to attract investors to the sector.
“What we are doing is to make sure that we give the investors that are coming, a fair return on their investment.
“We want to make sure the tariff we guarantee is right, so that at the end of the value chain, the distribution companies would be able to remit the money.”
The NERC acting chairman also identified inefficiency in revenue collection by the distribution companies as a major challenge facing the sector.
“The challenge of inefficiency in revenue collection is too high, the regulator has a lot of ample power to deal with these issues, but we are also facing a challenge.
Akah explained that full collection and remittance of the needed percentage of the fund by the distribution companies to other players in the electricity value chain would improve liquidity.
The acting chairman said NERC and the FG were making plans to pay up the debt owed distribution companies by MDAs, adding that the payment would also ensure liquidity to the sector.
He said the commission was developing a mechanism to smoothen electricity payment by consumers.