Senate tasks NERC on rules enforcement

By Musa Adamu

Senate committee on privatisation has challenged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on the need to wield the big stick against any defaulting power companies.
The committee stated this when it paid a working visit on the commission to ascertain it level of performance since the formal handover of the nation’s electricity supply to the private operators.

Led by its chairman, Senator Olugbenga Obadara, the committee said though it was aware of the enormity of the work before the commission, it nonetheless needs to start wielding the big stick against erring companies.
It said as the bridge between the people and power companies, the commission cannot afford to do anything less than to be firm in carrying out its duties.
It however, assured that the committee believes in the privatisation exercise and wanted to ensure that it doesn’t go the way of other reforms in the past.

It therefore, suggested that it would be helpful to “think out of the box” for solutions to some of the problems facing the sector.
Receiving the delegation on behalf of the chairman of the commission, Dr. Sam Amadi, vice chairman of the commission Muhammad Bello, reiterated the commission’s commitment to work with electricity operators to ensure a successful and sustained industry in spite of the hiccups facing the newly privatised electricity market.

He also commended the Senate committee on privatisation for its necessary support to complete the huge transactions that ushered in the privatized electricity market.
“There was no reference point before this exercise. The issue now is to pursue the reform to make sure it succeeds,” he said.
He reassured the committee that NERC was doing everything in its power to find solutions to the teething problems confronting the sector after privatisation.

He also informed about the “open and transparent discussions” that the commission holds monthly with the chief executive officers of the generation and distribution companies in order to proactively deal with any issues that arise that could detrimentally affect the electricity sector reform.