Senior Judges Discuss Key Legal Issues in Power Sector Recovery Programme

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By Chineme Okafor in Abuja

For two days, senior Nigerian judges will engage with stakeholders in the country’s electricity market to discuss salient legal aspects of the country’s new Power Sector Recovery Programme (PSRP) recently initiated by the federal government and the World Bank to revive the power sector, the International Institute for Petroleum, Energy Law and Policy (IIPELP) has said.

IIPELP, stated in a statement signed by its President, Prof. Niyi Ayoola-Daniels, and sent to THISDAY yesterday in Abuja, that such discussions about the legal aspects of the PSRP would be held at the fourth Annual Judges Workshop on Nigerian Gas and Power it was organising with the National Judicial Institute (NJI).

It explained that the theme of the 2018 seminar was, “The Judiciary and the Power Sector Recovery Programme: Legal, Commercial and Regulatory Issues,” adding that senior judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court were expected to be part of the workshop.

According to it, the workshop would asides its discussions on the PSRP, also examine the legal implications of recent power policy decisions made by the office of the Vice President of Nigeria, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO), Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), as well as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), among others.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, it noted would deliver an opening remarks at the workshop, while a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alfa Belgore, President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Kafarati, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Governor Godwin Emefiele, and Chairman NERC, Prof. James Momoh, would make the event.

It added that Momoh, would make a presentation on the role of the commission in the PSRP, while a former chairman of the NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, will speak on legal and commercial aspects of the programme.

Similarly, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (APC Lagos) would also speak on estimated billing and its challenges at the workshop which is expected to last from June 5 and 6.

Gbajabiamila had recently initiated a bill in the House to criminalise estimated billing of electricity consumers by electricity distribution companies (Discos).

A public hearing of the bill is however scheduled to hold on June 5.

The pioneer Chairman of NERC, Dr. Ransome Owan, would also speak at the workshop while Mr. Dafe Akpeneye, the commissioner in charge of legal, licensing and compliance at the NERC would deliver a paper on the program and how it relates to licensing and compliance in the industry.