The Senate has moved to improve the epileptic power supply in the country as a bill to repeal the 2005 Electricity Sector Reform Act scaled second reading at Tuesday’s plenary.
The bill, among others, seeks to consolidate all legislations in the power sector into one electricity statute, with the ultimate aim of improving Nigeria’s power generation capacity.
The bill sponsored by Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Senator Gabriel Suswam, if passed into law would diversify the power sector to accommodate cleaner renewable energy sources, as well as boost investment from private sector participation.
Leading debate on the bill, the former governor of Benue state explained that the bill seeks to, among other reasons, repeal the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act, 2005, consolidate all legislations in Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) and enact an omnibus Electricity Act for the industry to provide the ideal legal and institutional framework to guide the post-privatization phase of the industry in Nigeria.
He recalled that the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005, provided the legal and institutional framework for the reform of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) initiated and implemented by the Federal Government between 2001 – 2013.
According to him, the Act and other policy measures provided for the physical unbundling of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) into 18 successor companies.
His words: “While 17 of these successor companies have been licensed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission as distinct privatized generation and distribution companies, the Transmission Company of Nigeria remains state-owned”.
He explained further that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC); the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA); and Rural Electrification Agency (REA) were also established to enforce technical standards and regulations, as well as the coordination and implementation of rural electrification, respectively.
The ranking Senator, however, lamented that “inspite of the modest milestones recorded in the Nigerian power sector through the reform exercise, the sector has not been able to meet the target of making electricity available to 75 per cent rural and urban population by 2020 as envisaged in the National Electric Power Policy.