New Electricity Act Will Trigger Development in Nigeria—NERC

June 20, 2023
Electricity Act

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said the recently assented Electricity Act 2023 by President Bola Tinubu is a significant development for the country’s electricity needs.

The commission, in a public notice, said granting legislative autonomy to the federating states on matters relating to the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in their respective jurisdictions shows a sign of positive things to come.

It noted that it would be engaging in a stakeholders’ workshop in July to clarify grievances or counterarguments.

It stated that the landmark legislations mark a pivotal shift in the structure of the power sector and present the potential of bringing about positive developments needed for powering Nigeria’s economy to greater heights.

It noted that the model had been successfully implemented in other jurisdictions, including India, Australia, Canada, and the United States of America (USA), where federal and state electricity regulations and markets are clearly delineated.

The commission said it recognises the importance of learning from the experiences and lessons of these jurisdictions to navigate the potential challenges and maximise the benefits of the evolving power sector landscape.

“There is a need to provide further clarity and delineation of roles and responsibilities between the federal and state regulatory jurisdictions. The clarification shall assist in avoiding conflicts, overlaps, and regulatory uncertainty that may hinder the smooth functioning of the power sector with a consequential adverse impact on investors’ confidence.

“In establishing a clear framework and defining the scope of authority for each level of governance, the commission aims to work with all stakeholders to create an environment that promotes efficient and effective sector governance, thus benefiting investors and consumers,” it stated.

NERC maintained that an orderly transition process was required to minimise disruption and shock to market participants and consumers.

“In this regard, stability and clarity are vital for the confidence of existing players and the encouragement of new investors in the evolving market. The commission recognises the importance of working with all state governments on an orderly transition having regard to legacy reform issues and the novation of existing contractual commitments.

“In pursuit of bringing to effect the laudable provisions of the electricity industry laws and to facilitate a smooth transition, the commission has scheduled a stakeholders workshop to hold in July, with key stakeholders including market participants, state government representatives, and other key interested parties.

“The workshop shall serve as a platform for open dialogue and collaboration, enabling participants to discuss and commence the development of a robust roadmap for a successful implementation of multi-tier electricity markets,” it added.

President Tinubu, on June 10, assented to the electricity bill, which authorises states, companies, and individuals to generate, transmit and distribute electricity.

The new electricity law repealed the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) signed by President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005.

The new Act signed by Mr Tinubu consolidates all legislation dealing with the electricity supply industry to provide an omnibus framework to guide the post-privatisation phase and encourage private sector investments in the industry.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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