The newly-created Electricity Management Services Limited (EMSL) has said that it was not created to take up any regulatory role in Nigeria’s emerging electricity market but to provide the much-needed technical support services for improved power production and supply in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
The firm said its creation was in sync with extant provisions in the Electric Power Sector Reforms (EPSR) Act 2005, which gives bearing to ongoing reform programme in Nigeria’s electricity sector.
Managing Director of EMSL, Peter Ewesor, told journalists in Abuja that the new firm, which was recently inaugurated by Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has been established to take over the responsibilities of some non-core operational and subsidiary assets of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) with the mandate to provide ancillary and support services to the electricity generation, transmission and distribution segments of the electricity market.
Ewesor explained that the EMSL was a successor company created from the unbundling of PHCN, adding that apart from the six generation, one transmission and 11 distribution companies that have now been privatised, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), Nigerian Electricity Liabilities Management Company (NELMCO) and National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) made up the remaining that had been established by law.
He noted that the EMSL will to provide services such as sustained technical inspection, testing and certification of all electrical materials and equipment used in the sector to ensure stability of the power system to deliver reliable power to Nigerians, while at the same time ensuring safety of life and power assets in the NESI.
“The importance of inspections, testing and certification of all electrical materials and equipment, power projects like power plants, transmission/sub transmission lines, substations and switchyards as well as distribution networks and electrical installations before putting them into use cannot be over emphasised.
Electrical Inspectorate Services Department (EISD) of the ministry of power has been executing these functions in the past 50 years before EPSR Act 2005. The EISD has continued to shadow perform these functions to date with challenges resulting in huge technical gap,” he said.
Ewesor further stated: “Recognising the imminent danger this technical gap poses to the emerging private sector-led power industry, the federal government had to transfer these functions to EMSL.”
Drawing comparison from some country’s with established electricity market, Ewesor explained: “Like in other parts of the world where technical compliance ensures systems stability, the EMSL is set up as multi-disciplinary technical and professional agency of the government to perform common services and statutory functions in NESI.”
He noted that there were countries with similar practice pointing out that Ghana, which has the Energy Commission of Ghana with a technical function and another Public Utilities Regulatory Commission, which takes charge of commercial functions.
Also, the United Kingdom with its Department of Energy and Climate Change, Electricity Safety Council and National Measurement Office as well as India with its Central Electricity Authority and Chief Electrical Inspectorate which according to him remains under the Indian ministry of power.
“The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) developed the metering code which empowers EMSL and recognises its functions through the National Meter Test Stations (MTS) as specified in the part two and three of the Grid Metering Code and Distribution Metering Code respectively.
EMSL is synonymous to what obtains in other parts of the world. Technical regulation is a very important aspect of managing growth of the electricity industry in any nation; it requires the services of highly professional engineers with specialised technical skills and experience to deal with the functions of technical standards, inspection, testing and certification of equipment along the value chain,” Ewesor added.
Information from This Day was used in this report.