Energy Worth with Agency Report
The Federal Government has said that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has concluded regulations that will provide framework to license new class meter suppliers in the country.
The Minster of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, made this known at the 25th monthly power sector meeting in Uyo.
Fashola, in a text of his opening remark made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said the framework would complement efforts of Distribution Companies to supply meters to Nigerians.
According to the minister, Yola DisCo is already positioning to take up 400,000 meters once the contract and process formalities are concluded.
He said: “I am told that Abuja, Ibadan, Kano, Ikeja and Benin DisCos are also embracing the initiative, which has reserved a 30 per cent local content for the meters to be supplied under the regulations.”
According to Fashola, government decision to pursue an out-of-court settlement on a meter contract awarded since 2003, held up in Court until 2017, has made available about N39 billion to start the process.
He said incremental power initiative of government was yielding positive results, adding that the promise of steady power was becoming real.
Fashola said: “If we persevere, I am certain that we will witness uninterrupted power, which is the final destination of our journey.
“In many parts of the country connected to the grid, citizen feedback is positive, even though all the problems are not solved.
“Citizens acknowledge more power in dry weather, reduced hours of running their generators and reduction in fuel (diesel and petrol) purchase to power generators.”
He said it was cheery that Nigerians were already embracing the mini-grid policy and regulations to provide power for different uses.
He said: “In Ogun State, a renewable energy project was completed and commissioned last month.
“In Kano State, I commissioned a 73KW solar hybrid system developed by Rumbu Industries to support its mat production in a factory that employs 1,400 people.
“Within the same period in Kano, I inspected the solar system being deployed in Sabon Gari Market that has 12,000 shops.”
According to him, about 3,000 shops have registered, while 486 shops have been connected to cheaper and more efficient solar power and more shops are being wired by 120 technicians employed by the project.
He said government was moving away from theorising about power to actual provision of efficient power to support trade and business, especially small and medium enterprises, who are the drivers of our economy.
According to him, government has secured a World Bank approval for 486 million dollars to fund TCN’s transmission expansion programme.
The minister also said progress was being made with the same bank to secure funding for the rural electrification and distribution expansion programmes.
He said TCN had completed the transmission expansion of some sub-stations to improve their capacity to supply power to the DisCos.
He listed the sub-stations to include: Uyo, Calabar, Keffi, Karu, and Abeokuta among others.
Fashola implored operators, who were truly ready to run the business they have acquired voluntarily to continue to do so, adding that government would continue to support the sector.
He said: “As for those who entered the business without understanding it, please brace up for hard work and help us rebuild this country.
“Those who choose to hide temporarily in the courts of law can do so, but the court of public opinion will scrutinise you and its verdict may be very scathing, unkind, and enduring.
“I say this because you may not have noticed that Nigerians are increasingly taking their destiny in their hands.
“This is the essence of privatisation. If you bother to look up and around you, you will see solar panels on rooftops.
“The mini grid regulations allow them to procure 1MW without license. This is bigger than what many traditional generators supply. There is no law that compels them to take public power.”