- Review Power Sector Reform Law, Stakeholders Tell FG
Industry stakeholders have urged the Federal Government to review the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 to restore investor confidence in the sector.
The stakeholders stated this in a communiqué issued at the end of the 2nd Nigeria Energy Forum held in Lagos, where participants from government, development partners, industry, academia and the private sector explored opportunities in the nation’s energy supply industry.
The forum’s Chair and Technical Lead, Dr. Oluwole Adeuyi, said the programme was organised by a team of young energy researchers and academics in the United Kingdom, in collaboration with the Nigerian Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
The communiqué said the EPSR Act should be reviewed to create a gas regulator, introduce retail competition, smart metering and accurate billing in electricity distribution, and implement cost-reflective gas and electricity tariffs.
It said the proposed independent gas regulator should implement the gas-to-power master plan, guarantee payments to gas suppliers, introduce policies to attract private investments for development of gas infrastructure, and engage host communities to reduce vandalism of assets.
The communiqué read in part, “Renewable (solar) technologies could improve energy access for households and unlock economic growth for businesses; hence, government subsidies on tax and duty waivers should be implemented to overcome barriers to market entry and regulations should be introduced to allow efficient mobile banking sector that allows telecoms companies to process small payments for pay-as-you-go solar schemes.
“The domestic renewable energy manufacturing industry should be developed by the private sector with support from the Bank of Industry and Renewable Energy Agency, as importation of equipment would not guarantee long-term sustainability of the renewable energy sector.”
It was also recommended that an Energy Innovation Fund should be established by the public and private sector to support early-stage business ideas, build a pipeline for energy access using different renewable technologies, and demonstrate the effectiveness of innovative technologies in energy networks.
The communiqué said collaborative international research and training opportunities on renewable off-grid technologies, electric power systems and energy networks should be provided to professionals in the public and private sector to foster knowledge-exchange and transfer practical skill sets.
It said, “Technical and economic benefits of electricity supply from generation companies to large consumers connected to the 132 kV or 330 kV transmission network should be analysed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and included in the proposed regulation on eligible customers.
“Regulations on private investments into energy networks should be widely disseminated to businesses, communities and individuals by utilities and the National Orientation Agency, together with guidelines on consumer complaints procedures and investor protection rights.”