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.