Reports have emerged that the new commissioners of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), have outlined six areas the regulatory agency would focus on going forward to revive the fortunes of Nigeria’s privatized electricity market which is currently under immense operational stress.
Coming almost two months after the inauguration of the board by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, the commission at the last meeting of operators in the country’s power sector in Oshogbo, stated that it would focus on issues such as providing a cost efficient tariff for the sector as well as applying sanctions, where appropriate, to ensure operators comply with existing market rules.
ThisDay Reports that according to a communique of discussions at the monthly meeting of the operators, the Vice Chairman of the commission, Mr. Sanusi Garba, stated that the commission would in addition to committing to keeping tariffs that would ensure a self-sustaining power sector, it would enforce the commitments made by electricity distribution companies (Discos) on metering of residential consumers, and prepaid meters for government’s Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The NERC, he added would also focus on ensuring that a centralised management of market revenues collected from all customers are maintained, that the Discos are appropriately capitalised, and procurements made within the sector are prudent.
The communique also noted that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) restated its commitment to expand the country’s transmission infrastructure and improve on its operation.
Meanwhile, Fashola, at the meeting also responded to claims by the Discos that the government’s recent approval of N701 billion for the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) to cover payments to power generation companies (Gencos) was partial and unable to solve the sector’s challenges.
The Discos had through their trade association – the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) made claims that the intervention fund was not the real solution to the sector’s troubles. They also asked the government to consider a holistic solution that would include them for the sector rather than what they said was a half-measure.