NERC says Buhari welcome to make changes to electricity sector

Sam-Amadi, NERC

Sam-Amadi, NERC

*Reassures investors on privatisation process

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

17 April 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja –
The chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Dr Sam Amadi, has said investors in the power sector have nothing to worry about, even as he restated his unwavering commitment to the on-going privatisation of the power sector, saying he does not entertain any fear that the privatisation could be reversed.

Amadi, who reassured investors, both within and outside the country, of the regulator’s commitment to drive the reform process to a conclusive end, said the NERC believes in the sanctity of the sector’s privatisation.

Amadi, who was reacting to reports suggesting that the president-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, could cancel the power privatisation exercise, indicated that although the Commission was fully behind the exercise, it was up to the new administration to make policies to improve the operations of the power companies.

Also, in a statement made available to our correspondent yesterday, the regulatory agency said, “The spirit and intent of establishing the commission remains the implementation of the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act 2005.

“The NERC has in the last four and half years recorded telling landmarks in the implementation of the power sector reform, especially with regards to the privatisation exercise. Because of its principled implementation of the reform programme, the NERC has received both national and international accolades as one of the major drivers of the power sector reform.”

It added that, “The NERC chief executive officer (CEO) could not, at this point, suggest any form of reversal of a privatisation he spearheaded.”

Amadi had during an interview with journalists in Abuja stated that although the privatisation is not the problem of the sector, the new government has a responsibility “for making policies in which case it can change existing policy, review existing policy or vigorously pursue existing policy.”

He added further that from his understanding of the two political parties, their policies are in line with the framework of the National Electric Policy issued in 2000 by the PDP-led government which is clearly premised on privatisation and securing the financial viability of the sector as a way of improving power supply by sustaining investment.

While explaining that privatisation itself is not the problem, he noted that “we are in a new modern economic world where we think about the straight-jacket and one of the new straight-jackets is privatisation or public-private-partnership which explains that government may not be the sole producers of public goods and services and in many cases should not produce goods and services directly.”

He added however that there are “still residues of socialist and welfarist economic thinking where some people think that no matter how, government should still be in charge of producing public goods and services but every government is at liberty to go through the literature and once that philosophy is accepted it has a ripple effect on other policy areas especially in something as significant as power.”

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