By Ukpono Ukpong
The Vice Chairman/Commissioner of the Market Competition and Rate Division, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Musiliu Oseninishore has said that the Federal government has been making effort to improve the power supply in the country by consistent investment.
Dr. Musiliu stated this in Abuja during the 78th Power Dialogue series themed: “Regulatory Outlook: Looking Back to Go Forward,” organized by The Electricity Hub (TEH).
The Dialogue had Dr. Musiliu Oseninishore as the panelist and Mrs. Dolapo Kukoyi, the Managing Partner at Detail Commercial Solicitors, as the moderator.
The discussion opened with an examination of the Nigerian power sector’s achievement in 2022 as the NERC Chairman highlighted some implementations that NERC has achieved citing the Implementation of the Performance Improvement Plan for DisCos.
The NERC boss clarified that there was a goal of making both the on-grid and off-grid sectors work together to achieve the Nigerian energy goal.
He said there is a lot of scepticism in committing investment to various projects, increasing the rate of unfinished projects but the government persists in creating new policies and reforming the old ones.
According to him: “The Nigerian power sector is caught between the energy transition process and maintaining the usage of gas to ensure that a large percentage of the country has access to electricity.
“Government has been making investments to ensure rapid electrification process.
“The progress could begin with bilateral contracting whereby the DisCos take responsibility for the power and procurement with a franchisee assisting in the management.”
He however, complained that high possibility of disruptive technological innovations force the speedy developments of the markets.
He further explained that the Commission ensures the necessary investment, like purchasing new transformers to improve the performance of DisCos and monitoring power plant generators in the country by using the Internet of Things (IoT) meters deployed by CBN.
On the challenges of the Nigerian power sector landscape transformation, he noted that mini-grid capacity was very low looking at the risks and investments, adding that several policies have been made to ensure that the energy gap is closed in Nigeria, and the old ones have been reformed to suit the national purpose, he said.
Asked why NERC wrote a letter to the TCN ordering it to terminate all illegal bilateral transactions, Dr. Musiliu acknowledged the issue but explained that “some customers went to court to set an injunction against NERC to maintain the status quo.”