NERC Assures Nigerians of Improved Power Supply

By Shaka Braimah

The Chairman, Nigerian Electricity  Regulatory Commission, Mr Sanusi Garba, says the country will  witness  improved power  supply by July, next month.

Mr Garba stated this in Lagos while briefing newsmen after a meeting with electricity stakeholders on the state of the power sector.

He said under the new regime,  the commission had reached a contractual agreement with the Discos, Gencos and the transmission  companies on achieving Five thousand  megawatts of electricity to the public next  month.

Mr Garba, however, explained  that the target was going to be a gradual process.

“For those who are sceptical, what we are saying is that we cannot have twenty-four hours of electricity from day one, but what is important  is to see a tragetry  of improvement “

The NERC Chairman  said the zero national  metering programme  had been  completed.

“We are now starting  the phase one  programme under which four million metres will be installed based on the intervention  loans to the discos by the federal government. ” he said.

He commended  the federal government  and the Central  Bank for the intervention  in the power sector, saying that the people  will soon start to feel its positive  impact .

As for communities  buying their  own transformers, Mr Garba said such arrangement should be  between  the discos and such communities, in which case the cost of the transformer would be recocoverd through energy  credits to the communities, adding that anything  contrary  to that should  be reported  to the commission  for appropriate  action.

“No community should  buy or donate a transformer to discos for it the statutory  right  of the discos  to provide such service”, he said.

The Chairman of NERC blamed the recent collapse  of the National Grid on several factors, including  inadequate  gas supply, adding that in the past, it used to be due to weak infrastructure  but now there are other external factors.

On the twenty-five thousand  charge for importation  of generators, the Chairman  explained  that it was not a levy but a cost of service rendered by the commission.

“The commission  has an obligation  to ensure that generators imported into the country  meet specific qualifications because  Nigeria is not a dumping ground for any piece of equipment”.

We have had discussions  on ways of automating the processes of verifying such documents to attract less cost of service  but for now , we are still operating  manually, hence  the high cost of service, he concluded.

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