Chairman-Nigerian-Electricity-Regulatory-Commission-Mr_-Sam-AmadiInvestors would have to find the market environment attractive or they will not invest, according to the Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi.

He made the remark at a one day forum with Journalists for Democratic Rights and Human Rights Community (JODER) held in Lagos.

Amadi did not mince words when he said that high population coupled with past government‘s failure to invest in the sector has brought the country to the sorry state it has found itself. He said that the country has seen a way of changing the situation through investors.

‘’ Power production needs investments that spans years, contracts are signed, funds are injected into the market and someone has to agree to buy for certain number of years’’.

He explained that one megawatt of electricity capacity costs about a million dollars; hence investors in partnership with their local and foreign collaborators are needed.

He explained further that the Commission foresees an electricity industry where there will be adequate power supply which would lead to lower pricing. Presently, the reverse is the case, which is why the public outcry on the tariff has been heard.

Amadi said the real question was on making the market friendly for the right investors. On the Commission’s part, effective regulation is regarded as one that listens to the voice of the people. According to him, NERC seeks the active participation of the civil society groups.

The representative of the South West civil society coalition, Adewale Adeoye declared that there is a significant link between human right and energy provision that makes the civil right content of the energy sector imperative.

Adeoye informed that JODER called the meeting because it needed to engage the Commission to work out avenues for redress to several complaints of human rights violation experienced in the sector.

‘’We have seen a situation where Nigerians cannot challenge the authorities in the power sector even when their rights are brutally violated’’ he said.

The groups left the meeting with a resolve to form a coalition that would curtail exploitative actions by the new owners.

The NERC has as its goal the provision of electricity availability, affordability, safe and reliable supply as reiterated in a new partnership with Civil Societies groups in Abuja.

This was at a forum organised in collaboration with a civil society group; ‘’Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) on the 22nd of August, 2013.

The interactive meeting was aimed at bridging the gap between the Commission and the consumer.

The Commission Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi was categorical in describing as false the notion that the tariff has been set up solely to benefit investors, rather the Commission is working at providing the much needed electricity.

‘’We are very clear about our obligation to the people because we are here to work for the consumer’’.

Amadi appealed for trust ‘’ We want to create a relationship of trust’’ he said. This being the reason it endorsed the Freedom of Information Bill (FoIB) because NERC recognises the peoples’ right to know.

According to him, civil society groups were consulted in the process leading up to the new tariff, and are still being consulted because of the high regards the Commission accords them.

 

Information from National Mirror was used in this report.

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