By Adedayo Akinwale
The House of Representatives has directed its Committee on Power and Privatisation to review extant laws, regulations, policies, and contractual arrangements guiding the Power Sector Reform.
The House also resolved to review and investigate the activities of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry and directed its committee to submit its report to the House within four weeks.
The resolution of the House was sequel to the adoption of a motion on the need to review and investigate the power sector, moved by Hon. Ifeanyi Momah at plenary on Tuesday presided over by the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
In his lead debate, Momah said that before 1998, the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) was almost exclusively responsible for electricity generation, transmission and distribution in Nigeria.
The lawmaker stressed that it was based on this that the federal government birthed the Electricity (Amendment) Decree 1998 and the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) Amendment Act 1998 which subsequently terminated the monopoly status of NEPA and invited private sector participation in the electricity sector.
He added that this eventually led to the National Electric Power Policy of 2001, while also serving the purpose of kicking off the power sector reform in Nigeria, leading to several other reforms over the last two decades.
Momah said the reform led to the National Assembly passing into law, the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act 2005 which provided for: An Act to provide for the formation of companies to take over the functions, assets, liabilities and staff of the NEPA to develop competitive electricity markets and to establish the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, among others.
He stressed that it also saw the change of name from NEPA to Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
The lawmaker however lamented that despite government regulatory framework, huge expenditure and private sector participation/investment to meet long term reform objectives, delivering of quality, reliable and efficient electricity to consumers at reasonable prices remain a challenge in Nigeria.
Against this background, Momah said there was need to review the Power Sector Reforms.
He stated: “In the light of unstable gas and power supply, and due to critical requirement of power as a major catalyst for the industrialisation of Nigeria, job creation, fiscal revenue generation and economic diversification, there is a need to identify the root causes for the continued moribund nature of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) and recommend a road map for the revitalization of the sector to the House for further legislative actions.
“Based on the foregoing, the House hereby resolved that the Committee on Power and Privatisation to review the extant laws, regulations, policies and contractual arrangement guiding the Power Sector Reform.”