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NERC, EMS differ on electricity service management Bill


ABUJA – The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission ( NERC) and the Electricity Management Services Ltd. on Tuesday differed on a Bill for an Act to establish the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Authority.

The authorities of both organizations spoke at a public hearing on the proposed Bill in Abuja by organized by a joint Committee on Power and Judiciary of the Senate.

The Bill seeks to establish NEMSA which will be saddled with the responsibility of carrying out enforcement of technical standards and regulation, among other things, in electricity distribution services.

In his submission at the forum, Chairman of NERC, Dr Sam Amadi, told the committee that if the bill was passed, it would impact negatively on the sector and derail the power reform programme.

“The Bill proposing the establishment of NEMSA is in conflict with the purpose of establishing the company as provided in the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act, 2005,” he said.

According to Amadi, the establishment of the agency will amount to duplicity of responsibilities and attendant high costs of overhead.

He said that investors and the public would perceive government as inconsistent with its policies for establishing the agency.

“The establishment of the Agency will create regulatory uncertainty in the market as to which body is statutorily empowered to regulate safety and standards.

“NEMSA’s establishment has the potential of undoing the reforms in the power sector,” he said.

The NERC boss accused the Ministry of Power of not involving the commission when it constituted the committee on the Bill.

He said that it was wrong for two agencies of government to discuss a matter concerning their functions without a common position.

But the Managing Director of EMS, Mr Peter Ewesor, said the Bill implied giving statutory backing to what was already in place.

According to him, the EMS was a government agency saddled with the responsibility of inspecting, testing and certificating electrical appliances and installations.

He said that failure to enact the proposed Act would lead to inefficiency, poor service delivery and incompetence on the part of the regulator.

Ewesor told the committee that the establishment of the agency would not increase overhead as being canvassed by NERC.

The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, who supported the Bill, said that it was aimed at adding value to the power sector and transformation agenda of government.

Nebo, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Godknows Igali, urged NERC and EMS to work together for better service delivery in the sector.

Other Agencies that made presentation at the hearing were Bureau of Public Enterprises, Transmission Company of Nigeria, Energy Commission of Nigeria and Standard Organisation of Nigeria. (NAN)

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