The House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Power and Privatization to review the extant laws, regulations, policies, and contractual arrangement guiding the Power Sector Reform.
The Green Chamber also directed the Committees to review and investigate activities of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry and submit the report within four weeks.
The House took these decisions on Tuesday at plenary upon the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance on: “Need to Review and Investigate the Nigerian Power Sector”, sponsored by Ifeanyi Momah (APGA, Anambara).
Presenting the motion, Momah said the House noted that before 1998, the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) was almost exclusively responsible for electricity generation, transmission and distribution in Nigeria.
He said due to this, the Federal Government birthed the Electricity (Amendment) Decree 1998 and the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) (Amendment) Act 1998 which once passed, terminated the monopoly status of NEPA and invited private sector participation in the electricity sector.
According to the lawmaker, this eventually led to the National Electric Power Policy of 2001which served the purpose of kicking off the power sector reform in Nigeria, leading to several other reforms over the last two decades.
Momah said the House also noted that this reform process led to the National Assembly passing into law, the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act 2005 which provided for:
“An Act to provide for the formation of companies to take over the functions, assets, liabilities and staff of NEPA to develop competitive electricity markets, to establish the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission; to provide for the licensing and regulation of the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity; to enforce such matters as performance standards, consumer rights and obligations; to provide for the determination of tariffs; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.
“It aIso saw the change of name from National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) to Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). This development removed the monopoly of electricity generation, transmission, distribution, and sales from the former NEPA”.
He said the House was concerned that despite government regulatory framework, huge expenditure and private sector participation/investment to meet long term reform objectives which says that deliver quality, reliable and efficient electricity to consumers at reasonable prices, constant supply of adequate electricity is still a challenge in Nigeria.
The Ihiala Federal Constituency representative argued that as an indication of failure to achieve the gains of the power sector reform in Nigeria, the House further notes that there is need to review the Power Sector Reforms.
The 37-year-old lawyer said the House was: “concerned also that in the light of unstable gas and power supply, and due to critical requirement of power as a major catalyst for the industrialization of Nigeria, job creation, fiscal revenue generation and economic diversification, there is a need to identify the root causes of the continued moribund nature of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) and recommend a road map for the revitalization of the sector to the House for further legislative actions”.
Source: Business Day