The Nigerian Senate has passed the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019. This followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development, and Metallurgy, during plenary on Tuesday. The report was presented by the committee chairman and lawmaker representing Abia-South senatorial district, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe. The billed was thereafter read and passed for the third time.
The lawmakers also considered reports on two other bills – Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Bill, 2019, and the National Board for Technical Education (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2019. Committee Chairman on Science and Technology, Senator Barau Jibrin, and that of Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, Senator Barau Jibrin, presented the bills respectively. Both bills were also read and passed for the third time.
Gas Producers Lament Power Sector Debt, Low Prices – Punch
Gas producers in the country have said the debt owed by the power sector and the regulated low prices of the commodity constitute a drag on gas development. Operators and other stakeholders, including the Oil Producers Trade Section of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Nigerian Gas Association, highlighted the need to address the challenges in the domestic gas market. The Chairman, OPTS, Paul McGrath, said to realise the full benefits of gas as a catalyst for economic growth and diversification, several challenges across the entire gas value chain needed to be resolved.
According to him, the challenges include inadequate infrastructure along the value chain; regulated low prices, legacy debt related to gas and power supply and the challenging business environment. “The commercial and financial structures of the gas-to-power commercial value chain remain weak with growing arrears and uncertainty in the payment system which disincentivises gas investors,” he said at NGA Business Forum in Lagos. McGrath added, “To date, Nigeria’s domestic gas prices are kept at a regulated low price, which does not cover the cost required to fully develop its gas resources.” He said of the 162 trillion cubic feet reported gas reserves in the country, about 75 per cent would require the building of new infrastructure to deliver the gas resources to the domestic market.