Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy yesterday ordered electricity distribution companies (Discos) and generating companies (Gencos) in the country to submit their equipment for examination by the Nigeria Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA).
The order was the aftermath of a complaint by NEMSA to the Senate Committee on Power when it paid the agency an oversight visit that stakeholders in the power sector flout its laws arbitrarily.
The committee Chairman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, while giving the order said NEMSA must ensure that stakeholders obey the law regulating their activities.
He also asked the agency to ensure compulsory testing of all electricity equipment before they are certified for installation in any part of Nigeria.
Abaribe also told the 11 electricity distribution companies in Nigeria to ensure strict compliance with the laws setting up NEMSA. The law makes it compulsory for meters and electricity equipment brought into the country to be tested before they used.
He said: “What we are saying today is that there are. gaps between what NEMSA is supposed to be doing and what the Discos are actually doing. From what we can see it is actually because they are not seeing NEMSA as an enforcement agency that it actually is.
“The task that we are giving to NEMSA today is that they should use their law the way that it has been ratified and signed by the President of Nigeria so that they would actually hold the Discos accountable for their deeds in the power sector. That is a very big task which we want NEMSA to enforce strictly.”
Responding, NEMSA’s Managing Director, Peter Ewesor, said the agency was upgrading its meter test stations in the outstations assuring that the agency would ensure standardisation of electricity equipment.
He also said the agency was working hand in hand with the Standards Organization of Nigeria ( SON).
He said: “NEMSA is the technical partner with SON for standards in the power sector… NEMSA has the duty of technical inspection, testing and certification of all categories of electrical installations, electricity meters and instruments and other materials to ensure the efficient production and delivery of safe, reliable and sustainable electricity power supply and guarantee safety of lives and property in the Nigerian electricity supply industry and for other related matters.
“We want to ensure that only certified electrical installations practitioners are operating in the electrical contracting window. We have successfully re-modeled and upgraded National Meter Test Station, Oshodi to bring it back to international standard.”