Engr. Sale Mamman, the Minister of Power, on Monday disclosed that the ministry and stakeholders of the electricity market are working towards the establishment of a predictable and equitable regulatory regime from the perspective of ratepayers and investors.
Sale once raised the alarm over the widening liquidity gap in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), stressing that there is need to reinforce market structures and enhance transparency.
Speaking at the International Conference on Energy, Power Systems Operations and Planning (ICEPSOP 2020) in Abuja, he revealed that the ministry is already working hard to address the challenges by improving metering.
The theme of the conference is “Empowering Micro Grif with Smart Grid Attributes Development in United States and Africa.”
In corroboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Ministry of Finance, and other relevant stakeholders, according to him, the ministry is to consolidate a portfolio of activities deemed critical to the success of the electricity market.
His words: “The widening liquidity gap in the sector makes urgent, the need to reinforce market structures and enhance transparency. To address this challenge we are working hard to improve metering in general and in particular the use of smart meters as well as smart grids.
“In addition, the ministry is coordinating with the regulator, Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and other stakeholders to consolidate a portfolio of activities deemed critical to success, such includes refinement of commercial, technical, and regulatory components of transaction agreements; promotion of discipline; enforcement of contract effectiveness a day; establishing a predictable and equitable regulatory regime from the perspective of ratepayers and investors.”
The minister said that the ministry is focusing on electricity access for the teeming Nigerian population through the use of mini grid and micro grid. Mamman noted that energy access has been a perennial issue, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Citing industry data, he said that out of the 1.2 billion people without access to electricity, about half of them reside in the region. He added that electrification rate in Nigeria stands at 55 percent in urban and 36 percent in rural communities.
The minister said that there are already measures in place to promote rural electrification.
Meanwhile, the chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof. James Momoh said that the conference is to provide the required environment to explore innovative regulatory approaches in promoting efficient and competitive service delivery involving deployment of smart and micro -grid technologies.
Speaking, the chairman, House Committee on Power, Hon. Magaji Aliyu said that as Nigeria battles to generate, transmit and distribute electric power, the country has serious challenges reaching most of the rural areas.
He insisted that the issue of mini-grid development has become crucial in addressing the issue of power supply to remote areas of the country.