Industry leaders, executives and stakeholders in the Nigerian power sector have described the Electricity Act 2023 as a step in the right direction toward achieving the energy needs of Nigeria but warned that a couple of amendments must be made to ensure pitfalls of the past are repeated.
They spoke at the 14th edition of the PwC Annual Power and Utilities Roundtable, with the theme “The Electricity Act 2023: Powering Nigeria.”
Whilst they commended the Act, the experts proposed key amendments to enhance the legislative framework.
Commenting on the 2023 theme and its importance in shaping the future of Nigeria’s power sector, Partner and Energy, Utilities and Resources Leader, PwC Nigeria, Pedro Omontuemhen noted that “The 2023 power roundtable’s timing coincides with the COP 28 in Dubai, highlighting the urgent need for continued action on climate change especially in the area of renewable energy.
He said “The Electricity Act can play a pivotal role in addressing this challenge by providing guidance on balancing the utilisation of our natural resources with the reduction of carbon emissions while showing how we can generate, transmit, and distribute adequate power to meet Nigeria’s energy needs.”
Pedro added that “discussions at the roundtable have shown that power sector stakeholders welcome the Electricity Act as a good step especially for consolidating the laws governing the Nigerian electricity supply industry and establishing a policy framework that empowers state governments and investors. However, there is more to be done to enhance the legislation and make it more responsive to the realities of industry practitioners.
In this regard, it is crucial for the Act to provide the policy framework necessary to implement practical solutions to address the metering gap.”
In his keynote address, Bimbola Banjo, Partner and Finance Advisory Leader, PwC Nigeria, applauded the transformative impact of the Electricity Act 2023 which he said has paved the way for state governments to actively participate in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity without causing significant overlap of the federal government’s overarching role in the sector.
He elaborated on the key provisions of the Act, including the separation of distribution from supply operations, incentivising renewable energy, the positioning of NERC as the apex regulator, the establishment of the Power Consumer Assistance Fund (PCAF), state government’s adoption of the Electricity Act, the establishment of N-HYPPADEC, and the definition of offences and penalties.
Banjo further noted that “While there is an urgency to adopt the Electricity Act, states must exercise caution and assess their readiness for implementation. The process of adoption will incur significant costs, including engaging legal and commercial advisors, and will require substantial investments in technology, human resources, and the establishment of state-level structures.