The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday passed the bill that seeks to allow states generate, distribute electricity. The bill, which was passed shortly after consideration of a report by the senate committee on power, also seeks to put an end to the seemingly intractable challenge in the power sector.
Chairman, senate committee on power, Gabriel Suswam, explained that the bill sought to provide an ideal legal and institutional framework to leverage the modest gains of the privatisation phase of the electric power sector in Nigeria. According to the former Benue state governor, the passage of the bill will go a long way in reducing aggregate value chain losses in the sector when signed into law.
He pointed out that it is proper to give a fair chance to anyone or firm generating electricity below one megawatt to get a licence, adding that the new law would give states and or individuals with capacities to generate their power. The legislation, he noted, is expected to further invigorate the institutional framework for the reform of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, initiated and implemented by the federal government.
“Since electricity is on the concurrent list in the constitution, the bill has allowed state governments to license people who intend to operate mini-grids within the states,” he said.
Suswam explained further that the provisions of the bill seeks to promote policies and regulatory measures required to promote the expansion of power transmission networks in Nigeria with a view to addressing any imbalance in the existing transmission infrastructure.
According to him, the bill is expected to stimulate policy and regulatory measures to scale up efficient power generation, transmission and distribution capabilities of the sector; as well as address technological limitations and outdated infrastructure responsible for value chain losses.