The Nigeria Electricity Management Services Authority (NEMSA) bill has continued to cause a rippling effect in the power sector as the proposed private member bill seeks to convert the Electricity Management Services Limited (EMSL) into a full-fledged technical regulatory authority.
This Day gathered from proceedings at the last joint public hearing on the proposed bill that its disapproval by NERC and BPE stemmed from doubts as to the relevance of the bill at this stage of the Nigeria’s electricity industry.
While NERC insists that a NEMSA in the power sector will create incidences of regulatory uncertainties, irregular revenue profile in the electricity market and public perception of Nigeria as a country with uncertain policies, the BPE argued at the hearing that was convened by the senate committees on power and judiciary in Abuja that the government had never in its framing of the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act 2005, envisaged an alternative regulator for the sector.
But the EMSL, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) , while backing the bill, insisted that the growing frequencies of electricity induced accidents in Nigeria, had made it necessary for the establishment of a technical regulator for the sector.
Through their official representatives, EMSL, SON and NSE posited that regulating the technical aspects of Nigeria’s electricity sector was quite a task for NERC to undertake, hence the need for NEMSA. NSE specifically alleged that the commission was inadequately staffed with the right mix of technical personnel to undertake the tasks of regulating Nigeria’s electricity sector.
NSE’s claims on NERC’s technical staff shortage was however punctured by the Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi who emphatically stated that the larger incidences of accidents in Nigeria’s electricity sector occurred under government’s management of the sector.
Amadi also insisted that establishment of NEMSA will not yield tangible benefits to the sector considering the stage and challenges of the sector.