Nigeria: Minister Urges Coordinated Efforts to Address Challenges in Power Sector

21 January 2020

The Minister of Power, Mr. Sale Mamman, has called for coordinated efforts among stakeholders to address the growing challenges in the power sector and propel it to a viable path of development.

Mamman made the call at the 11th International Conference on Energy, Power Systems Operations and Planning (ICEPSOP 2020) in Abuja yesterday.

The three-day conference has the theme, "Empowering Micro Grid with Smart Grid Attributes Development in U.S. and Africa."

He said that the coordinated efforts should be in line with market reforms resulting from a clear policy imperative, taking cognisance of the country's journey in the reforms since 2005.

According to him, the power sector is a market in transition and like most privatisation efforts across the globe, is not without challenges.

"Currently, the misalignment along the electricity value chain from generation to last mile delivery is perhaps the most straining challenge in this chapter of market reforms.

"Added to that is the paltry remittance from downstream participants of an average 29 per cent of market invoice, inadequate feedstock and a growing under-served base," he said.

Mamman said that to address the country's energy supply challenges, the Federal Government had identified five focal areas to be addressed.

He listed the focal areas as infrastructure alignment, market efficiency and transparency, corporate governance/sector policy coordination, increased energy access and execution of legacy projects.

The minister urged all stakeholders, including the public, to key into the Federal Government's renewed efforts to reposition the sector in the hope of achieving the benefits of market reforms.

"We would need all hands on deck to successfully re-write our privatisation experience," he said.

The Chairman, House Committee on Power, Rep Magaji Aliyu, said that as the country battled to generate, transmit and distribute electricity, it had serious challenges in most rural areas.

Aliyu said that mini grid development was very crucial in addressing power supply to the remote areas of the country.

"The development of mini grid in Nigeria as well as most other developing nations will take off pressure from operators of the main grid.

"Having realised that the mini grid is essential to improving the performance of the power sector, it becomes important to holistically look at this area vis-à-vis the merits and demerits, " he said.

Earlier, Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof James Momoh, said the conference would provide the required atmosphere to explore innovative regulatory approaches in promoting efficient and competitive service delivery.

Momoh said such delivery would involve deployment of smart and micro-grid technologies - Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), smart meters, distributed communication and intelligence access to adequate power and distributed energy resources.

"Others are energy efficiency and demand management tools, cost reflective tariffs, automation of review processes, enhancement in data analytics, new markets willing buyer willing seller models, franchising, embedded generation, mini-grids, " he said.

The conference was attended by scholars, researchers, policy makers, regulators, industry operators, students and consumer groups.

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