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WE'LL REVOLUTIONISE POWER SECTOR, MINISTER PROMISES

By NBF News

The Minister of State for Power, Arc. Nuhu Somo Way, has stated that epileptic power supply faced by consumers in the country will soon be over, as the federal government has concluded plans to aggressively revolutionize the power sector of the nation's economy.

Arc. Way, who made this known in his opening remarks at the two-day workshop on the commencement of the Transitions Electricity Market (TEM) in Calabar, pointed out that Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in the on-going transition electricity market, which provides enabling environment for market participants to operate in line with codified market rules and grid code.

He stressed that the act establishing Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC), has given it mandates to promote, preserve efficiency and ensure full utilization of resources for provision of electricity services, enjoining all stakeholders to deliberate on issues bedeviling the Nigerian Electricity Supply industry and challenge, to proffer workable solutions.

While restating government's determination and desire to reform the power sector, the minister said because the history of electricity in the country has been characterized by inadequate generation of power and poor return on investments, it became necessary for the federal government to adopt several remedial measures to reinvent the sector.

He also challenged them 'to chart a new course for the attainment of the conditions precedent for the commencement of the TEM that will herald the much-needed entry of new capacity and competition in the industry.' Way said 'government's formulation of the Power Sector Roadmap in 2010 has given added impetus to this drive and also underscores government's commitment to put the sector  on a strong footing to effectively discharge its foundational role in the nation's socio-economic development.'

As one of the programmes to tackle the perennial power problem, he said in July 2008 government established the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) by the Commission, maintaining that 'as a pricing framework, MYTO has been used to determine appropriate prices paid to all participants in the value chain of generation, transmission and distribution. It was a paradigm shift from the traditional price fixing by PHCN.'

He was surprised that after five years that the unbundled the erstwhile NEPA, the electricity market was still toddling and warned that government will no longer tolerate this situation rather all involved in the market must now comply with applicable laws.

Also speaking, the chairman of newly formed power regulatory commission, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi said since the industry has not moved from what he described as the Pre-Transition stage because of failure to attain all the necessary conditions, he also warned all licensees that the NERC will not hesitate to deal decisively with any company connected with the Commission that is found wanting towards the discharge of its obligations.

'You may be aware that EPSR Act provides for the prosecution and possible jailing of any person that withholds or even delays in supplying information to the Commission.'


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