The chairman Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi, yesterday told the new owners of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) that the obligation to write rules for the electricity industry is that of the commission, not the operators’.
In his opening remarks at the two-day workshop with the buyers of the PHCN successor companies at Abuja, he urged all the stakeholders to make their contributions to the draft interim rules for the management of the electricity industry before the Transition Electricity Market (TEM) is declared.
Amadi said:”The interim rules being considered today provide governance framework for the electricity network between when the new operators take over the network and when TEM is declared. In keeping with our tradition, we want all stakeholders to make contributions to the rules.
“The rules are for the market. Therefore, it should be the view of market participants. But I must state it clear that it is not the operators who write the rules for the market. It is the regulator who has responsibility to write the rules . Yes, the operator must have its say and be free to try legitimately to influence regulatory outcomes.
“But it must realise that it is the regulator; this regulator will always defend public interest and will not allow the rules to be written for narrow business interest.”
Minister of Power Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, said when the power sector fails to meet the power demand because of inefficiency , high losses , poor commercial performance; consumers and industries suffer and resort to coping mechanism.
According to him, one of the most common coping mechanisms in many countries is the rampant practice of diesel-fired captive power, one of the most uneconomical ways for generating electricity.
“Therefore, our first consideration is to focus upon the customer. They must have power to create jobs, to improve children’s education; to grow our economy.”
Nebo said that there was a clear link between the Gross Domestic Product and electricity consumption.
The minister stressed that government is not oblivious of the challenges of lack of electricity, noting that its participation in the sector would transform the situation.
Information from The Nation was used in this report.