NERC warns new power investors against political interference

Dr. Sam Amadi08 November 2013, Abuja – The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said the growth in the efficiency of Nigeria’s emerging electricity market will partly be guaranteed when new investors in the generation and distribution companies of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) avoid the temptation of seeking government’s interference in the operations of the electricity market.

NERC stated that the usual somewhat penchant of investment promoters seeking some forms of government interventions in operations of privatised sectors of economies ostensibly to pervert extant rules guiding the operations of these markets will not guarantee the much needed improvement in Nigeria’s Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), if practised by the new investors.

The Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, said yesterday at a workshop to amend the extant market rules for the transitional and medium term stages of NESI, that while the industry was being prepared to assume the Transitional Electricity Market (TEM) stage by March 1, 2014, it was equally hoped that the extant market rules guiding the operations of the sector would be strictly adhered to by operators.

He noted the commission’s expectations that all the participants in the market would adhere to the market rules without having to invite top government officials perhaps to interfere in the workings of the market.

According to him, such interference would be unhealthy for the growth of the electricity market, while interrupting the expected flow and synchronisation of established operational codes employed in the market.

“The market is run by rules and not by calling the president or vice-president and we need to ensure the integrity of regulatory regime in the market. The market rules ensure competitive and efficient market participation.

“This is a holistic review of the market rules to reflect the changes in the market especially the coming of the new investors and it is obligatory for every market participant to participate because at the end of the day, you will have to play by the rules,” Amadi said.

He also spoke on reconstituting the initial Stakeholders’ Advisory Panel (iSAP), which was one of the market governance panels and the highest ranking consultative panel of the Nigerian electricity market to include new investors in the sector.

– Chineme Okafor, This Day

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