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New regulations for electricity investors underway

By The Citizen
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TO make new plant owners stick to their terms of engagement with the government under the ongoing privatisation process, the Federal Government is putting together a set of regulations.

The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said in Abuja at the weekend that the guidelines would ensure that operators do not breach their licence obligations, and 'are able to temporarily operate out of compliance where the urgent need arises.'

The NERC said it is also fine-tuning work on a draft health and safety code to ensure the safety of persons during installation, operation or maintenance of electricity equipment. The commission is currently harmonising stakeholders' input into the draft document, its officials said.

A statement from NERC noted that 'the undeniably weak state of the industry that will be inherited by the new players has necessitated this move. There are many flaws and sub-standard equipment, among others, in the system which will make it difficult for the new operators to comply with all the standards set by NERC to govern generation, transmission, distribution and overall customers' care.

'Operators will be able to apply to NERC seeking for time to comply with codes and standards, and then submit detailed plans and timelines for eventual compliance. The commission will consider these applications, and if found not to impinge on health and safety issues, and are justifiable, derogation may be granted.'