25 December 2012

Nigeria: NERC to Streamline Existing Industry Regulations With Epsr Act

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has disclosed its intention to harmonise existing regulations in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) with provisions of the Electricity Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act 2005.

Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi made the disclosure at the inauguration of a 24-man technical working group on the electric networks construction standards in Abuja

He said regulations, such as, the Electrical Installations Regulation (CAP 106) of Law of Federal Government of Nigeria, which was promulgated in 1996 by the Federal Ministries of Power and Justice in consultation with the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) had become obsolete and would have to be reviewed in line with the EPSR Act 2005.

According to him, Nigeria's electricity industry is fast evolving and would require a lot of standardisation to achieve its objectives.

He said: "The electricity industry in Nigeria is fast on the path of deregulation and privatisation, which calls for prompt and proactive measures by the regulator to keep in phase with change and achieve the set objectives of the power sector reform.

We have identified gaps in terms of technical regulations which prompted the commission to embark on this project through transparent engagement of stakeholders from the power industry and academia and it is hoped that this will solve the problems of construction and material standards."

Amadi, who was represented by the Commissioner in charge of legal, licensing and enforcement division of NERC, Dr. Steven Andzenge noted that the commission has the mandate to provide regulatory direction on all aspects of supply chain in the electricity industry.

"As part of the mandate of NERC we are supposed to provide regulatory direction on all aspects of supply chain in the electricity industry and what we have in existence is a regulation that is meant for installation and supply of electricity and these regulations were put in place as far back as 1996. But on the basis of development in the industry, we have considered it necessary to review existing regulations with all relevant stakeholders and we have put together a team of 24 people from all aspects of the economy to sit down and review such regulations", he said.

He said as Nigeria moves towards a deregulated electricity industry, the commission is doing everything possible to ensure that installations in the sector meet up with expected standards.

"No nation is static and the sector is moving upward, we want to give this sector the best in terms of operational efficiency and when this group completes their job within the next six months, we hope to have a document that will be gazetted with inputs of other stakeholders in line with trends in the industry. This is because the success of the power sector reform depends on the reliability and safety of the electric networks which can be achieved with articulated guide for design, construction and maintenance of electricity infrastructure in Nigeria", he added.

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