‎NERC seeks to expand local content in power sector to boost GDP

*Nigeria - economic activities.

*Nigeria – economic activities.

*Inaugurates advisory board

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

11 December 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has inaugurated an 11-man Nigerian Content Consultative Forum, NCCF, for the electricity supply industry.

According to a statement from the Commission, on Thursday, the inauguration is in line with its regulation on national content development for the power sector.

The law, entitled: ‘Regulation on National Content Development for the Power Sector’, reportedly developed by NERC in December 2014, envisages that Nigerian companies are given first considerations for the supply of goods, works and services in the power sector, even as it aims to protect the nation’s budding electricity industry from harmful expatriate exploitation as is the case some other sensitive and important sectors of the Nigerian economy.

“This regulation flows from the federal government policy on local content first enunciated in the National Electric Power Policy, NEPP, of 2001 which mandates the regulator to ensure local content in the electricity market in Nigeria,” the statement said.

Speaking at the inauguration of the forum, the Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, explained that the regulation should not be misconstrued as nationalisation but an attempt at deepening Nigerians participation in the emerging electricity industry as well as stem capacity flight in the economy.

He clarified that the forum, which would operate in advisory capacity, would have membership from the industry operators and other stakeholders with background in fabrication, engineering, finance services, legal and insurance, information and communication technology, education and training and any other professional services as may be considered by the Commission.

He said the National Content Regulation (NCR) enacted by the commission in December, 2014, mandates the forum to establish a national data bank for national skills development pool and ranking of service companies on capabilities and Nigerian content.

“Part 6 (b) of the Regulation stipulates that the forum shall carry out a survey periodically to determine the local content participation in the power sector.

“Based on the survey and other considerations, the Forum shall advise the Commission on the benchmark to set as threshold for local content in the power sector and the Commission acting on this advice shall issue directives to licensees from time to time on the threshold for local content,” he explained.

He said the body, acting in advisory capacity, would assist the commission on matters relating to availability of local content and other policy proposals that may be relevant to local content development in the NESI.

“It will base its recommendations on such policies that the federal government may from time to time issue. A provision in the part 2 of the Regulation expects licensees of the Commission to develop local content as key components of their general operations and executions of their projects.”

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